Monday, 25 April 2011


His Excellency, Mr Rupiah Banda, President of Zambia, has pledged not to rest until every Zambian has easy and low-cost access to healthcare.
Speaking on the eve of World Malaria Day, President Banda said he would use the day of commemoration to highlight the work still to be done to reach Zambia’s own healthcare targets.
The global community is working towards a target of zero malaria deaths by 2015. World Malaria Day brings together governments, businesses, donors and patients to raise awareness of the progress made in reaching this target and to call on all countries to work together to eradicate the deadly disease.
The 2010 World Malaria Report showed a 50% reduction in cases of malaria in 11 African countries.  Zambia has been a pioneer in identifying new measures to prevent and treat the disease.  Under President Banda, mass distribution of free insecticide treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying of houses in the worst-hit districts and investment in diagnosis and treatment has seen malaria deaths decline by more than two thirds since 2000.
Last week Zambia’s Ministry of Health director of public health and research Victor Mukonka spoke publicly about the strong political will, leadership and increased funding to malaria programmes which has resulted in the 66 per cent decline in malaria incidence.
Zambia is now well ahead of the Abuja Declaration and the World Health Organisation’s global ‘Roll Back Malaria’ target.
President Banda said: “My vision is for a Zambia where all people have equal and universal access to healthcare. We have made great in-roads to achieving this – most recently, by opening nine new mobile hospitals to help us reach outlying areas where malaria is a particular problem, and so provide treatment for all Zambians no matter where they live.
“But there is still some way to go.  I will not rest until we have completely eradicated this preventable and treatable disease. My government is working hard to secure more investment to extend the reach of our anti-malaria programme.  It is also important that we educate everybody on the measures they can take to reduce risk. On World Malaria Day I appeal to every Zambian to be vigilant in protecting themselves, and to support one another, so that we can look forward to a Tomorrow’s Zambia free of this disease.”

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