Tuesday, 24 April 2012


IT is time to push for zero malaria related deaths, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said.
In his message on the commemoration of World Malaria Day, which falls on April 25, Ki-moon bemoaned continued malaria related deaths.
“Last year on World Malaria Day, we mourned the fact that one child died every 45 seconds from this disease. This year, we have managed to slow the clock. It remains a monumental tragedy that one child dies every minute from malaria, but we can draw some hope from the many lives saved through international interventions,” said Ki-moon. “More children are sleeping safely under nets, more families are gathering in rooms protected from mosquitoes, more communities have access to testing, and more patients get the medicines they need to recover.

Ki-moon noted that a global coalition had boosted proven strategies, including long-lasting insecticidal nets, indoor spraying, rapid diagnostic tests and anti-malaria medicines for populations at risk.
“Thanks to this remarkable partnership bringing together governments, international agencies, donors, researchers, corporations, philanthropists and a range of civil society organizations and concerned individuals,” he said.
He observed that efforts had saved more than a million lives saying since 2000, malaria mortality rates had fallen by more than a quarter globally and by more than a third in Africa.
Ki-moon said now was the time to push for much greater progress and that achieving near zero malaria deaths was one of key priorities in the action agenda he had established for the next five years
“In our world of plenty, there is no excuse for not making smart and affordable investments in malaria interventions. A rapid diagnostic test costs about 50 cents while a course of an anti-malaria drug costs only about $1. A bed net that lasts three years and can protect several children costs approximately $5,” said Ki-moon. “These are modest sums, and we can lower costs even further if we fund research to find better solutions. Even as we seek to prevent malaria deaths today, we must invest in the next generation of anti-malaria tools to fight emerging resistance and continue our drive toward a vaccine. We need to better coordinate our efforts to test, treat and track the disease.”

Ki-moon further said: “On this World Malaria Day, let us collectively pledge to close the $3.2 billion funding gap to achieve and maintain universal coverage in Africa up to 2015 – and ultimately to reach our goal of defeating this disease”

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