Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria

 World Malaria Day
25 April 2012
In 2010, about 3.3 billion people - almost half of the world's population - were at risk of malaria. Every year, this leads to about 216 million malaria cases and an estimated 655 000 deaths. People living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable.
World Malaria Day - which was instituted by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007 - is a day for recognizing the global effort to provide effective control of malaria. It is an opportunity:
for countries in the affected regions to learn from each other's experiences and support each other's efforts;
for new donors to join a global partnership against malaria;
for research and academic institutions to flag their scientific advances to both experts and general public; and
 for international partners, companies and foundations to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked. 

The theme for World Malaria Day 2012 - Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria - marks a decisive juncture in the history of malaria control. Whether the malaria map will keep shrinking, as it has in the past decade, or be reclaimed by the malaria parasites, depends, to a great extent, on the resources that will be invested in control efforts over the next years.
Investments in malaria control have created unprecedented momentum and yielded remarkable returns in the past years. In Africa, malaria deaths have been cut by one third within the last decade; outside of Africa, 35 out of the 53 countries, affected by malaria, have reduced cases by 50% in the same time period. In countries where access to malaria control interventions has improved most significantly, overall child mortality rates have fallen by approximately 20%.

However, these gains are fragile and will be reversed unless malaria continues to be a priority for global, regional and national decision-makers and donors. Despite the current economic climate, development aid needs to continue flowing to national malaria control programs to ensure widespread population access to life-saving and cost-effective interventions. Long-term success will also depend on investments in on-going research and development to combat emerging threats such as parasite resistance.

Sustaining malaria control efforts is an investment in development. Continued investment in malaria control now will propel malaria-endemic countries along the path to achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, especially those relating to improving child survival and maternal health, eradicating extreme poverty and expanding access to education.

Source:http://www.who.int
http://www.worldmalariaday.org

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