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Updated On: Monday, 22 July 2019

Cautious Optimism On World Malaria Day As Countries Stride Towards Mdg Goals

Photo: South-South News/Shari Nijman

Content by: South-south News

 

26 April 2013, New York USA | Connor Schratz - The amount of annual deaths by Malaria have fallen dramatically in the last decade, and 50 of the 99 countries with an ongoing Malaria issue are well on their way to meet the 2015 World Health Assembly goals of a 75% reduction in Malaria-related deaths.

Reason for newly appointed Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDG's Ray Chamber to be cautiously optimistic on World Malaria Day.

"We have covered 800 million people with 400 million nets, and we seeing a continued decline of deaths of children in sub-Saharan Africa," Chambers said at a press conference at the United Nations headquarters.

"Six years ago we were registering one million plus deaths a year, of children from malaria. We are estimating this year that we're under 500 million deaths and we continue to march toward our target."

Malaria is a mosquito-borne illness caused and transferred by the Anopheles mosquito, causing fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. Medicine to treat Malaria is widely available in developed countries. However, they are often unaffordable or unobtainable in developing regions, causing many to go untreated with fatal results. The Anopheles mosquito is only active at night, making mosquito nets an affordable and effective measure to prevent the spread of Malaria, especially in rural areas that are disproportionally affected by Malaria.

"Part of the big push is getting the medicine and diagnostic tools out to those rural areas," Chamber said. "We can't reach out goal until we fully saturate sub Saharan Africa with the availability of the correct medicines."

A special statement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said that the financial shortfall to achieve the millennium development goal of near-zero deaths from Malaria in 2015 is 3 billion dollar. "This is starting to slow the scale-up of key malaria interventions in Africa, particularly the distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets," the statement said.

As special envoy for the financing of health MDG's, Chambers , together with the Global Fund is aiming for a continued annual funding of 5 billion over the next 3 years, generating a total of 15 billion towards eradicate Malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) called malaria a "great economic threat to the African continent." ALMA measures the results and progress, and streamlines accountability and action in the fight against Malaria on the African continent.

"We have seen, for example, African heads of state and governments remove tax and tariffs on anti-malarials.

World Malaria Day coincides with World Immunization week, an initiative from the World Health Organization together with UNICEF and other partners to reduce child mortality from preventable diseases by promoting and enabling more and better vaccinations.

The theme for this year's malaria day is Invest in the future. Defeat Malaria. The mosquito-borne illness continues to cripple the economy of many African and South Asian countries as both their GDP and productivity is affected by the high number of deaths from Malaria.

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