Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 17, 2009
According to the World Health Organization's World Malaria Report 2009 released earlier this week, more than one third of affected countries included in the study have witnessed reduction in malaria cases by more than 50 percent between 2000 and 2008. The report, which compiles information gathered from malaria programs in 108 countries, highlights considerable progress in the fight against malaria since the turn of the decade.
These improvements are attributed to a vast increase in international funding for malaria efforts over the past four years, which more than doubled from $730 million to $1.7 billion. However, malaria advocates in Washington cautioned that unless funding continues to increase, programs will fall well short of 2010 targets for universal coverage with insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in 2015. According to the Global Malaria Action Plan, $6.2 billion is needed in 2010 alone to fully fund the package of malaria interventions necessary to meet the Roll Back Malaria goals that will save the lives of mothers and children worldwide.
"Malaria is one of the best investments we have in global health," said Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, the U.S. Malaria Coordinator. "We must build on successes we have seen in places like Rwanda, Zambia and Zanzibar, where effective partnership and proven tools like insecticide-treated mosquito nets, spraying of homes with safe, effective insecticides and malaria diagnosis and treatment worked together to dramatically reduce deaths and illness. And as we continue to make progress in the fight against malaria, we make important gains toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals related to poverty reduction, child survival, maternal health and reducing malaria deaths."
Bolstered by the new data from WHO, malaria advocates in the U.S. have requested that the U.S. government allocate $924 million for bilateral malaria funding; $200 million for research, development and technical assistance; and $1.75 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in appropriations for fiscal year 2011. Advocates also applauded the ongoing commitment of the Obama Administration and Congress to expand malaria programming, demonstrated by the recent approval of $585 million for bilateral assistance for malaria and an additional $1.05 billion in support of the Global Fund.
The United States remains a global leader in the fight against malaria. Last year alone, the President's Malaria Initiative reached 32 million people with lifesaving prevention or treatment services, while direct funding from the U.S. has helped the Global Fund distribute 104 million ITNs to protect families and provide treatment to 74 million individuals suffering with malaria.
Visit the World Health Organization's Web site for more information on the World Malaria Report 2009.
This effort sponsored collectively by the following malaria community partners:
Development Finance International
Global Health Council
Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs
Malaria No More
Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene