World Malaria Day: We can be the generation that #EndMalaria For Good

Malaria remains both a major cause and a consequence of global poverty and inequity. Nevertheless, we can be the generation the #EndMalaria for Good. We can be the generation that ends malaria – one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in human history. Its burden is greatest in the least developed areas and among the poorest members of society. Many of those most vulnerable – especially young children and pregnant women – are still not able to access the life-saving prevention, diagnosis and treatment they so urgently need.

According to the World Malaria Report 2016, in 2015, there were 212 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths. One child dies from malaria every two minutes. Between 2000 and 2015, an estimated 6.2 million lives were saved as a result of a scale-up  of malaria interventions. Around 5.9 million of these lives saved are in the under-five age group.

On World Malaria Day the global community unites to reflect on our progress and the challenges that lie ahead. Since 2000 we have made great strides in curbing the malaria epidemic. Thanks to the mobilization of resources and political will, malaria control and elimination efforts have resulted in nearly 7 million lives saved and over US$2 trillion added to the economies of malaria affected countries.

 

What is Malaria

Malaria is a preventable and treatable infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes that kills more than one million people each year, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria is the leading cause of death for children under five.

Because malaria is a global emergency that affects mostly poor women and children, malaria perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty in the developing world. Malaria related-illnesses and mortality cost Africa’s economy alone USD 12 billion per year.

However, by 2020, global estimates indicate that USD 6.4 billion would be needed each year to fully fund the fight against malaria. 

 

Efforts to #EndMalaria For Good

Since 2000, when the world committed to ending poverty and tackling some of the world’s most intractable issues delaying development, malaria has proven to be among the best investments in global health. Thanks to the

Thanks to the mobilization of resources, political will and community efforts, malaria control and elimination efforts over the past 16 years have resulted in nearly 7 million lives saved, leading to US$2 trillion in benefits to malaria affected countries.  

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Through the continued investment of donors and increased ownership and investment by affected countries, progress is being made towards a new chapter in the fight against malaria. By engaging communities, scaling up screening, prevention, treatment, and surveillance systems, investing in innovative therapies and interventions, and through new partnerships and commitment of resources, malaria can be defeated for good. • The ambitious goal of eliminating malaria in 10 additional countries by 2020ii is within

 Through the continued investment of donors and increased ownership and investment by affected countries, progress is being made towards a new chapter in the fight against malaria. By engaging communities, scaling up screening, prevention, treatment, and surveillance systems, investing in innovative therapies and interventions, and through new partnerships and commitment of resources, malaria can be defeated for good. The ambitious goal of eliminating malaria in 10 additional countries by 2020ii is within

The ambitious goal of eliminating malaria in 10 additional countries by 2020ii is within reach, but requires sustained and enhanced technical focus and funding commitments. These need to be urgently addressed through collaborative effort by malaria-affected countries, affected and donor country governments, the private sector and communities. Make no mistake, malaria remains a daily threat

Make no mistake, malaria remains a daily threat with half the world’s population still at risk. There are opportunities to save lives today by reducing transmission and eliminating the disease where possible. Every step brings us closer to the goal of a malaria free world. We cannot stop this global effort, when today alone more than 1,100

We cannot stop this global effort, when today alone more than 1,100 peopleiii, most of them young children under 5, will die from malaria – a preventable and treatable disease. Beyond loss of lives, livelihoods are affected as the disease leads to lost work days and causes children to miss school, holding back economic growth of affected countries.

The risk of malaria resurgence is real, particularly if political commitment weakens, funding wanes or technical challenges go unaddressed. This World Malaria Day, let’s keep the conversation rolling on ending malaria for good – #endmalaria

 

Spotlights

  • Sri Lanka made elimination a national priority and, in collaboration with international donors, went from being among the most malaria-affected countries in the mid-20th century to eliminating the disease. Country leadership resulted in community engagement, aggressive surveillance and response, and a domestically owned and led campaign with the support of multi-lateral donors. China has reduced
  • China has reduced incidence of malaria to near zero, with no deaths in 2015 related to indigenous cases. As one of the largest countries to possibly eliminate malaria in decades, China can drive elimination success among its neighbors, particularly in a region facing the challenge of antimalarial drug resistance.
  • A country that had eliminated malaria in 1961, Kyrgyzstan faced an epidemic of malaria in the early 2000s which prompted definitive action led by the Ministry of Health in coordination with international bi-lateral and multi-lateral funding institutions. The resulting program had the effect of stopping indigenous transmission.
  • The European Region was the first WHO region to be declared malaria free, after all 53 countries reached elimination in 2015. Thanks to the cross-border regional collaboration and political commitment expressed in the Tashkent Declaration and heightened surveillance and response, the region went from over 90,000 cases to zero in just two decades
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How to #EndMalaria for Good

Treatment: In 2013, 392 million artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) were procured by the public and private sectors in endemic countries – up from 278 million in 2011, and just 11 million in 2005. 
Since 2000, the use of ACTs for the treatment of fever in children has risen steadily. However, in 2015, only 13% of children with fever in sub-Saharan Africa received an ACT. 

Nets: in 2014, an estimated 214 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were delivered to endemic countries, a major increase over the 70 million bed nets that were delivered in 2012.

IRS (indoor residual spraying): in 2013, 123 million people (3.5% of the global population at risk of malaria) were protected by indoor residual spraying worldwide. In 2015, an estimated 7% of children at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa lived in a household protected by IRS. However, 25% of children in this region still live in a household with no ITN and no protection provided by IRS.

Diagnostics: The volume of RDT sales to the public and private sectors of endemic countries has increased from 88 million in 2010 to 319 million in 2013. The number of patients tested by microscopic examination increased to 197 million in 2013, with India accounting for over 120 million slide examinations. But, in 2015, most children suspected of having malaria did  not receive a diagnostic test. 

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