Global Effort against Malaria

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Facilitated largely by increased political commitment, an up-scaling of World Health Organisation (WHO) vector control measures and expansion of the so-called “artemisinin-based combination therapies”, the past decade has seen remarkable progress in the global effort against malaria. In fact, latest figures approximate that global investments in malaria control have amassed to a 42% reduction in the diseases’ mortality rate between 2000 and 2012, saving an estimated 3.3 million lives during this period.1 Additionally, malaria incidence rates declined by 25% worldwide, in the same epoch, and by 31% in the African region – the epicentre of disease’s devastation on humanity.1
Despite the recent advancements, however, there remains no opportunity for complacency. Malaria continues to represent a perilous public health challenge and one of the most prevalent and lethal infectious agents across Africa, Asia and the Americas. Data released in December 2013 indicates that there were in the range of 207 million cases of malaria in 2012, and an estimated 627,000 related deaths – most particularly in children under five and expectant mothers.2 In Africa today, it can be predicted that a child will die every forty-five seconds as a result of malaria.3 To quote WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, “the fact that so many people are dying from mosquito bites is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century”.1 In 2008, the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership unveiled its Global
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