WHO: Close gaps in malaria response

Dr Ghebrevesus

Dr Ghebrevesus

The Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called on countries and the global health community to close the critical gaps in the malaria response, as they mark World Malaria Day which fell on Wednesday.

“We call on countries and the global health community to close the critical gaps in the malaria response. Together we must ensure that no one is left behind in accessing lifesaving services to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria,” he stressed.

This contained in a press statement issued by the Roll Back Malaria: Partnership to End Malaria activities held across the world to celebrate progress against malaria and encourage political, scientific and personal commitments to end the disease for good.

April 25th marks the tenth World Malaria Day and the culmination of a month of worldwide action against the disease at a time when global malaria cases are on the rise for the first time in a decade.

With the rallying call ‘Ready to Beat Malaria’(RBM), the Partnership to End Malaria is encouraging governments, health bodies, private sector companies and the public to accelerate progress against malaria, making this World Malaria Day even more vital.

Dr Ghebreyesus said: “World Malaria Day reminds us of the challenges that remain. The declining trend in malaria cases and deaths has stalled and vital funding for malaria programmes has flat lined. If we continue along this path, we will lose the gains for which we have fought so hard.

“After a decade of success in pushing back malaria, it is on the rise again and will come back with a vengeance if we do not act decisively now,” warns Dr Kesete Admasu, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RBM Partnership to End Malaria, added.

He added: “Half the world is still threatened by malaria, an entirely preventable, treatable disease which takes a child’s life every two minutes.

“Worldwide action is needed to meet the 2030 target of reducing malaria cases by at least 90 per cent. We are delighted that more countries than ever, forty-four, are reporting less than 10,000 cases.

Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, RBM Partnership Board Chair remarked: “This month has seen world leaders come together to renew commitments to step up funding and speed up innovations against the disease. -Reuters

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