Progress to Control Malaria, More Needed

KAMPALA, Uganda, July 29 (UPI) — Insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor spraying reached 60 million in 2008, but 25 percent of child deaths in Africa are from malaria, a U.N. officials says.

Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told leaders at a meeting of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance in Uganda the fight against malaria is key to boosting women’s and children’s health.

The 26-nation coalition aims to end malaria on the continent of Africa, which is responsible for 25 percent of all deaths of children under the age of 5, affects at least 50 million pregnant women and is responsible for 10 percent of all maternal mortalities annually.

“If you continue to see malaria control as an integral part of reaching the Millennium Development Goals … of building strong health systems … of improving your people’s well-being … then the success we have seen to date will continue, and grow,” Migiro says in a statement.

ALMA has been involved in malaria control, including ensuring pooled procurement of goods and services and eliminating taxes and tariffs on the products used to control malaria.

Migiro says the number of malaria cases dropped by more than 50 percent in nine African countries in the past 10 years and a recent analysis of malaria in 35 African countries finds more than 680,000 lives had been saved from 2000 to 2009.

“Malaria is an ancient enemy. The fight against it will be long,” Migiro says. “But we are on the road to success. With perseverance, we will win.”

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