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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

World Malaria Day 2018: Africa accounts for 90% of global malaria cases, deaths

Africa presently accounts for over 90 per cent of the global malaria cases and deaths, according to the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership to End Malaria, reports NaijaAgroNet.

They also informed NaijaAgroNet that malaria costed Africa’s economy US$ 12 billion per year in direct losses, and 1.3 per cent of lost annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.

As the world marks malaria day, today, April 25, 2018, NaijaAgroNet reports that globally progress against malaria are being celebrated in order to encourage political, scientific and personal commitments to end the disease for good.

The Roll Back Malaria partnership equally noted that 25th April marks the tenth World Malaria Day and the culmination of a month of worldwide action against the disease at a time when global malaria cases are on the rise for the first time in a decade.

With the rallying call ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, NaijaAgroNet reports, is encouraging governments, health bodies, private sector companies and the public to accelerate progress against malaria, making this World Malaria Day even more vital.

“After a decade of success in pushing back malaria, it is on the rise again and will come back with a vengeance if we do not act decisively now,” warns Dr Kesete Admasu, CEO of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria.

“Half the world is still threatened by malaria, an entirely preventable, treatable disease which takes a child’s life every two minutes. Worldwide action is needed to meet the 2030 target of reducing malaria cases by at least 90 per cent. We are delighted that more countries than ever, forty-four, are reporting less than 10,000 cases, however we must ensure we continue to press forward to end malaria – not only in highburden nations but also those on track to eliminate the disease. It is our global responsibility to consign malaria to the history books,” Admasu said.

Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, RBM Partnership Board Chair comments, “This month has seen world leaders come together to renew commitments to step up funding and speed up innovations against the disease. It has been a truly momentous time in the fight against malaria, but the battle is not yet won. We also need citizen and community action around the world to drive momentum towards reaching global targets.

“The malaria fight is at a crossroads and we could be the generation to end the disease for good. If we don’t seize the moment now, our hard-won gains will be lost. We’re ready to beat malaria – are you?”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, says: “World Malaria Day reminds us of the challenges that remain. The declining trend in malaria cases and deaths has stalled and vital funding for malaria programmes has flat lined. If we continue along this path, we will lose the gains for which we have fought so hard.

“We call on countries and the global health community to close the critical gaps in the malaria response. Together we must ensure that no one is left behind in accessing lifesaving services to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria,” DG said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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