UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday called on the international community to invest more in tested approaches to Malaria prevention to defeat this disease.
Ban made the appeal on the occasion to mark the World Malaria Day which fell on Saturday.
In his message on the day, Ban said fewer people are becoming infected with malaria as more people are getting the medicines they need, which proves that the world can win the fight against the disease.
World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the rate at which people are dying from malaria has fallen by 47 percent since 2000.
Ban said one reason for the improvement is the increased availability of malaria prevention tools, including insecticide- treated bed nets, and massively improved access to accurate malaria diagnostics and effective treatment.
According to UN statistics, in 2013, the number of rapid diagnostic tests procured globally increased to 319 million, up from 46 million in 2008, while in the same year, almost half of all people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa had access to an insecticide-treated net, up from just 3 percent in 2004.
“We have the tools and the know-how,” said Ban. “But, we still need to invest in getting these tools to a lot more people if we are to further reduce the number of people becoming ill with malaria, and further cut the number of people who die each year.”
In this regard, Ban called for more investment in tried and tested approaches to malaria prevention and treatment, strengthening health systems in the world’s poorest countries and intensifying efforts to develop new tools and approaches.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. In 2013, malaria caused an estimated 584,000 deaths, mostly among African children.
World Malaria Day was established in May 2007 to help raise awareness of malaria as a disease, which is preventable and treatable, and mobilize action to end the ravages of malaria. The theme for this year is “invest in the future; defeat malaria.” Enditem