Unite against Malaria
Maputo, 25 April 2005 – On the occasion of Africa Malaria Day 2005, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Mozambique appealed to all development partners to increase their efforts to prevent and fight malaria, the main child-killer in the country. Speaking on behalf of the Roll Back Malaria partnership at the central event in Chókwè (Gaza province), WHO Representative Dr. Bokar Touré said: “We can overcome this deadly disease only, if we act together.”
Dr. Touré referred to the Abuja declaration of Heads of States when he said: “On the 5th commemoration of the declaration, we advocate for an increased mobilization of resources for Mozambique for the fight against malaria.”
The Abuja Declaration of 2000 set the goal to ensure that by 2005 at least 60% of those suffering from malaria have access to an affordable treatment within 24 hours, and that 60% of pregnant women and children under five sleep under an insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITN). “The targets for this anniversary are far from being reached,” Dr. Touré said.
In Mozambique, malaria accounts for around 35 percent of all deaths among children under five, and the high prevalence is a major contributing factor to the country still having one of the highest child mortality rates in the world.
In order to step up the fight against the deadly disease, UNICEF, WHO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank launched the 'Roll Back Malaria Partnership' (RBM) in 1998.
The RBM partnership brings together the governments of countries affected by malaria, their development partners, the private sector, NGOs and community-based organisations, foundations, and research and academic institutions around the common goal of halving the global burden of malaria by 2010.
UNICEF has been supporting the distribution of ITNs in Zambézia, Gaza, Tete, Cabo Delgado and Maputo provinces over the past five years. As part of this, almost one million ITNs have been distributed. Most of those nets are made available at health units by the District Directorates of Health at a highly subsidised price of 30,000 Meticais (1.50 USD).
Development partners around the globe commemorate Africa Malaria Day on 25 April to remind the world of the severe impact of the disease especially in Africa. Under the theme “Unite Against Malaria”, celebrations in 2005 focus on the importance of partnership at the national, regional and global levels for fighting malaria.