Deaths caused by malaria fall by a fifth in 10 years
The Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership has predicted that by 2015 any deaths caused by malaria will be virtually non-existent after falling a fifth around the world in one decade.
According to a report issued by RBM, the number of malaria-related deaths now stands at 781,000 compared to 984,000 in 2000.
The reported also noted impressively decreasing rates of malaria mortality in Africa – 11 countries in the continent have seen deaths fall by 50 percent.
Overall, malaria-related deaths have fallen by 38 percent within the last 10 years on a global scale, a reverse of the trends of the previous decade.
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RBM believes such a dramatic reduction in malaria deaths is a reflection of the huge influx of funds that have been donated to fighting the disease; funding has increased 15 times since 2003 and now totals approximately $148 million a year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), who helped to set up RBM, claimed if financial investments into the cause are increased, it will be possible to totally eradicate the malaria illness.
Although RBM plans to reduce global cases of malaria by 75 percent and rid 10 countries of the mosquito-borne virus by 2015, experts believe it could take up to 50 years to eliminate malaria completely.
The Executive Director of RBM, Awa Coll-Seck, said: “We are light years away from where we were 10 years ago.”
In a statement released by the WHO, the Director of its Global Malaria Programme, Robert Newman, commented: “The results of the past decade exceed what anyone could have predicted and prove that malaria control is working.
He added: “Many of these achievements have occurred in the last five years, which tells us that we are becoming increasingly effective in our ability to tackle this disease.”
Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary-General, said: “Only rarely have we seen a public health initiative provide so much return on investment.
“Thanks to the efforts of the Roll Back Malaria Partners over the past decade, we have a foundation that allows affected countries and communities to reach even greater results in the years to come.”
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