The fifth Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) conference took place on March 6 in Indonesia for members to share knowledge and experience in the issue.

Participants, including representatives from 14 APMEN member countries and numerous health managers and specialists from across the world, reviewed the results of activities since the previous APMEN conference, exchanged experience and sought solutions to raise cooperation in and efficiency of malaria-prevention programmes in the region.

APMEN members pledged to conduct action programmes to eliminate the disease in the next several years, said Co-chairman of the conference Richard Feachem.

Speaking at the event, Coordinator of the WHO’s Global Malaria programme Richard Cibulskis noted that 13 out of the 14 APMEN members had successfully cut the number of malaria cases by 75 percent. Sri Lanka , the Republic of Korea , Bhutan and Malaysia completely eradicated the disease.

However, many drug-resistant cases remain in Asia Pacific countries, namely Myanmar , Thailand , Cambodia and Vietnam , Feachem added.

Scientists are now researching and developing a new drug to tackle the resistance.

APMEN includes Indonesia, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, the Philippines, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.-VNA