José Ángel Calle Suárez, Director of AEXCID – Extremadura’s International Development Cooperation Agency, opened the course ‘Europe facing global challenges, from cooperation to development. The eradication and prevention of endemic diseases: malaria’ which is part of the Campus Yuste academic project from the European Academy of Yuste Foundation.
In his speech, the director talked about how “cooperation is the best tool for bringing about equality, and healthcare is a good instrument to help achieve it”. Health is part of AEXID’s roadmap because “it brings about equality of opportunity and the redistribution of wealth” as well as forming part of the Sustainable Development Goals. It needs resources dedicating to it because “endemic diseases continue to be a great hurdle we can’t get over”, he said.
As Ángel Calle sees it, if other global illnesses have been eradicated which we would not have thought possible 25 years ago, and almost all children in the world now receive schooling, “we can also get rid of malaria”. To do so, we can use tools such as cooperation, it being a “driver for equality in healthcare, and defending the role of healthcare workers because they play a structural role in development policies”.
For the speakers, the main cause of malaria in the world is directly related to poverty, but in order for it to be eradicated, it is also essential to invest in research and innovation. The fight against malaria in Spain officially began in 1920 and by 1935 students from different parts of the world had already been trained at the Navalmoral de la Mata Institute of Hygiene, an important advance at that time. Another of the details highlighted was the eradication of native cases of malaria in Europe.
The course is being sponsored by AEXCID and is part of the first ‘Europe Facing Global Challenges from Cooperation to Development’ project activity, which aims to examine in-depth, from Extremadura, the role of the European Union as a region facing major internal challenges within a global context of crisis and transformation. At the same time it is committed to Sustainable Development as a global challenge in which cooperation between public, private, and civil society agents, as well as between regions and countries, is key to achieving shared objectives.
The course is being directed by Quique Bassat, ICREA Professor of Research at the Barcelona Global Health Institute and María Teresa Blanco Roca, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Extremadura, and has additional support from the Spanish Foundation for International Cooperation, Health, and Social Policy at the Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality, and the Carlos III Health Institute, among other institutions.