Friday, April 24, 2009

World Malaria Day

Today, April 25th, is World Malaria Day, and according to the official website, there are currently 109 malarious countries in four regions of the world. Established goals have set December 31st, 2010 as the target date for delivering universal, effective, and affordable protection and treatment to all vulnerable persons at risk of malaria.

In concert with the United States Millennium Goals, eradicating malaria is seen to be equally important as eradicating poverty and realizing the laudable goals of protecting women's and children's rights around the world.

Some facts from the World Malaria Day website:

The following interventions need to be delivered worldwide by 2010:
  • More than 700 million insecticide-treated bednets – half of those in Africa
  • More than 200 million of doses of effective treatment
  • Indoor spraying for around 200 million homes annually
  • Approximately 1.5 billion diagnostic tests annually
What it will cost
  • In 2009, roughly $5.3 billion will be needed for malaria control worldwide
  • In 2010, $6.2 billion will be needed
  • From 2011 to 2020, roughly $5 billion per year will be need to sustain the gains of control measures.
  • In addition, about $1 billion per year will be needed for research and development of new prevention and treatment tools
What will be the impact

A dramatically expanded access to core anti-malaria interventions (protective nets, spraying, diagnostics and effective drugs) will result in a sharp decline of malaria cases and deaths. However, these measures will not eliminate the mosquito vector, the parasite or the favorable environmental conditions for transmission in many countries and regions. In some countries with naturally high transmission rates, control measures may need to be maintained for 15- 20 years or longer until new tools enabling elimination are developed or new research indicates that control measures can be safely reduced without risk of resurgence.

We are all responsible to support these important global programs, and days like World Malaria day serve to remind us of the importance of protecting the most vulnerable members of the global community from diseases which are 100% preventable.

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