DevelopmentAid Dialogues | Mosquitoes, money, and a warming world: Why a malaria vaccine isn't enough

By Hisham Allam

DevelopmentAid Dialogues | Mosquitoes, money, and a warming world: Why a malaria vaccine isn't enough

In the relentless fight against malaria, Dr. Scott Filler, Head of Malaria at the Global Fund, stands as a beacon of unwavering commitment and passionate advocacy.

A five-part interview with Hisham Allam traces Dr. Filler’s journey from his personal encounter with the disease to spearheading innovative initiatives. Dr. Filler embodies the relentless pursuit of a malaria-free world. He offers profound insights into the challenges and opportunities of combating malaria, stressing the need for global collaboration to achieve this ambitious goal.

Download the transcript of this episode.

Dr. Filler’s journey is deeply personal, rooted in a near-death encounter with cerebral malaria during his undergraduate years in Kenya. Reflecting on this pivotal moment, he states, “I’ve committed my life to trying to kill the parasite that tried to kill me first.”

This profound sense of purpose fuels Dr. Filler’s tireless advocacy for equal access to healthcare, regardless of birthplace. He asserts:

“No child should have to face the devastating consequences. They didn’t choose where they were born.”

Throughout the podcast, our guest navigates the complex landscape of malaria control and elimination with clarity and insight. He discusses innovative initiatives such as the Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative (RAI) and addresses the disruptive impacts of climate change, offering a comprehensive understanding of the challenges to hand. Dr. Filler highlights, “The challenges include increased population size, climate disruptions, the emergence of insecticide resistance weakening our tools, and a collective struggle to maintain increasing resources.”

Amidst these challenges, Dr. Filler emphasizes the critical importance of international cooperation and knowledge sharing. He highlights the need for a unified response, stating:

“Malaria doesn’t respect borders. A strategy for drug resistance requires a regional approach where we discuss all anti-malarials entering a particular region.”

Dr. Filler’s insights illuminate the interconnected nature of the fight against malaria that transcends geographical boundaries in pursuit of a common goal.

Despite the significant barriers, the guest of DevelopmentAid Dialogues remains a firm believer in the potential of a malaria-free world. He understands the long journey ahead but retains hope and determination. Dr. Filler concludes:

“History teaches us that this fight is a marathon, not a sprint. We must learn from the past and not let the difficulties of malaria derail our efforts.”

Listen to our latest podcast episode and embark on an illuminating journey through the frontlines of malaria eradication. Explore pioneering initiatives, delve into the pivotal role of global collaboration, and ignite your passion for a malaria-free world.