There are less than 1000 days left until we reach the 2015 deadline set by the UN as part of the Millennium Development Goals to halt and start to roll back malaria. Are we on track? Yes, says our Executive Director James Whiting, but if we are to defeat malaria we must keep up the funding and political will.
In the 1980’s and 90’s death rates from malaria grew dramatically. One of the relatively unsung human achievements of this century is to have begun to reverse this deadly trend, with the deaths from malaria down by 26% around the world. The World Health Organization estimates that over one million children’s lives have been saved by the malaria campaign in the last decade. This is thanks to a well coordinated international campaign involving scientists, donor and domestic governments, NGO’s, business, and UN institutions, and the mass spread of insecticide-treated nets, treatment and diagnostic tests. Nets, treatment and tests all cost under £5 so this is a hugely effective way to reduce mortality rates, particularly for children under five years old (who make up over 90% of malaria deaths in Africa).