Since helping to co-found the network in 2009, the Global Health Group has provided technical and program management support to the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN), a fourteen-country initiative that supports malaria elimination efforts in the Asia Pacific region, with a particular focus on Plasmodium vivax malaria. APMEN's mission is to collaboratively address the unique challenges of malaria elimination in the region through advocacy, capacity building, knowledge exchange, and building the evidence base. Partner countries include Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, the Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
The Network was launched in 2009 following an announcement by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the 2008 United Nations General Assembly Meeting. Major funding is provided through an AUD $6.1 million, 4-year grant from the Australian government’s Australian Aid program. APMEN works in close collaboration with the WHO and is supported by a Joint Secretariat based at the University of Queensland, Australia and the Global Health Group in San Francisco.
The work of APMEN, as well as the progress being made by APMEN countries toward malaria elimination, was showcased at a major regional conference, "Malaria 2012: Saving Lives in the Asia-Pacific," hosted by the Australian government in Sydney, Australia October 31-November 2, 2012.
Launched on World Malaria Day 2010, the APMEN Fellowship Program aims to equip the next generation of leaders from the Asia Pacific region with the training to guide malaria elimination in the critical coming decades. The program also aims to strengthen partnerships and lesson-sharing among APMEN Country Partners and research institutions. Individuals from the eleven APMEN partner countries may submit applications for a 1-3 month, short-term training opportunity with a partner country malaria program or partner institution.
In the first round, five Fellowships were awarded to recipients from Bhutan, China, Philippines and Indonesia. Five 2011 Fellowships were awarded to recipients from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Solomon Islands and Thailand.
In 2010, APMEN launched a Research Grant Program, which fosters the development of new malaria elimination tools in the Asia Pacific region. The program's first grant round is funding research related to P. vivax malaria, a type of malaria parasite that is difficult to diagnose and treat due its persistent stage of liver infection. 11 proposals were accepted to receive grants for short-term operational research or scientific evaluation projects.
The fourth annual APMEN Technical and Business Meeting was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, May 7-10, 2012, with a theme of "Efficiency in Elimination," reflecting the urgent global need to maintain and expand malaria programs in spite of substantial funding shortages related to the global financial crisis. The meeting celebrated the major progress in malaria control and elimination that has been documented in the Asia Pacific region, and considered the growing threat of antimalarial drug resistance to regional stability and continued economic growth (informed by the experience of Cambodia, which was welcomed into the Network during the meeting).