Working towards malaria elimination – Malaria Day 2015
25 April, 2015
Today marks the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Malaria Day 2015. Continuing from the past two years, the theme is ‘Invest in the future: defeat malaria’.
In 2013, there were 198 million cases, and 584,000 deaths from malaria, with African children under five years old being the worst affected group. In 2014, 97 countries had ongoing malaria transmission and approximately half of the world population are at risk.
The world has made great strides in the control and elimination of malaria and roughly half the countries in the world have eliminated the disease. Of the remaining 100 countries that still have endemic malaria, 34 are eliminating and the others are making rapid progress in control. Since 2000, malaria mortality rates have been cut in half.
Despite this good progress, challenges remain. Some of these are technical in nature, but for those countries rapidly approaching elimination, the bigger dangers are a reduction of political commitment and an associated decline in national malaria elimination budgets to finish the job and prevent reintroduction.
As part of our programme concentrating on sustainable development and the environment, we are continuing our work in this area with an event focusing on Malaria elimination in Asia Pacific and Southern Africa: political leadership and sustained financing. This meeting will bring together high level national leaders to discuss what political and financial decisions can and should be made to achieve regional and country level elimination goals.
Our previous meetings focused on Getting to Zero; and the integration of new tools for zero deaths and elimination of Malaria.
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