Christmas came early this year for thousands of farmers in Ghana, thanks to a new programme launched by Cocobod Armajaro Traceable Foundation (CATF). The not-for-profit organisation was launched in 2008 to improve the livelihoods of cocoa farming communities in Ghana by reinvesting premiums which cocoa processors and chocolate manufacturers pay to purchase traceable cocoa. CATF has recently embarked on a programme to distribute 50,000 long-lasting insecticide treated mosquito bed nets to farmers in the cocoa-growing areas of Ghana. CATF will use Armajaro Ghana Ltd’s depots and the assistance of NetsforLife and the Ghana National Malaria Control Programme to ensure full and effective use of the nets. Over 100,000 people are expected to benefit from the distribution of these nets.
World Heath organisation’s 2009 World Malaria Report documents the international community’s significant success in tackling malaria over the past 10 years. More African households have bed nets and, crucially, more children are now using them. The number of households now protected by Indoor Residue Spraying has increased almost six-fold since 2001. However, the report also makes clear that the international community needs to fully fund the effort to tackle malaria – which means increasing funding by almost three times. More funding is needed in particular for those countries with the highest malaria burden such as Nigeria and DRC. We need to ensure all those who need them have access to Artemesin Combined Therapy drugs (ACTs) and the drugs needed during pregnancy; and to Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) so we can ensure correct diagnosis. Today, we are seeing huge strides towards reaching the UN malaria goals but we need to continue the fight. The UN Special Envoy, Ray Chambers, just returned from Nigeria and Kenya. His visit highlighted the problem in Kenya where malaria deaths and cases are on the decline yet today there is a critical shortage of funding for the eleven million nets needed now to help ensure the fight against malaria is won. Here at Malaria No More UK, the WHO report delivers a lot of positive news as we come to the end of 2009: but it also sets out the challenges we all face in the year ahead.
Stephen Webster’s limited edition mosquito rings are officially this winter’s hottest accessory after selling out on ASOS in under three hours – a new record for the online fashion store. The rings, as seen on the fingers of Victoria Beckham and Erin O’Connor, are now expected to become lasting collector’s pieces.
Hit television programme; “Big Brother Africa Revolution” and African private sector companies are raising funds and awareness for the United Against Malaria campaign.