By Tara Rippin • 02 December 2020 • 19:51
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on countries and global health partners to step up the fight against malaria.
THE preventable and treatable disease continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives each year.
And “better targeting of interventions, new tools and increased funding” are needed to change the global trajectory of the disease and reach internationally-agreed targets, says WHO.
The organisation warns progress against malaria continues to plateau, particularly in high burden countries in Africa.
“Gaps in access to life-saving tools are undermining global efforts to curb the disease, and the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to set back the fight even further,” said WHO.
In 2019, the global tally of malaria cases was 229 million, an annual estimate that has remained virtually unchanged over the last 4 years. The disease claimed some 409 000 lives in 2019 compared to 411 000 in 2018.
“It is time for leaders across to rise once again to the challenge of malaria, just as they did when they laid the foundation for the progress made since the beginning of this century,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Through joint action, and a commitment to leaving no one behind, we can achieve our shared vision of a world free of malaria.”
In 2000, African leaders signed the landmark Abuja Declaration pledging to reduce malaria deaths on the continent by 50 per cent over a 10-year period.
“Robust political commitment, together with innovations in new tools and a steep increase in funding, catalyzed an unprecedented period of success in global malaria control.”
According to the report, 1.5 billion malaria cases and 7.6 million deaths have been averted since 2000.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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