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UNICEF and WHO launch ‘World Malaria Report’

© UNICEF/2005/Markisz
The ‘World Malaria Report’ 2005 was introduced by the Director of the WHO's Roll Back Malaria Department Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam and UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman

By Sabine Dolan

NEW YORK, 3 May 2005 – UNICEF and the World Health Organization have jointly launched the first-ever ‘World Malaria Report’, at UNICEF headquarters in New York.

Officiating at the event were UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, the Director of the WHO's Roll Back Malaria Department Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam. 

The ‘World Malaria Report’ is a comprehensive study that documents the burden of malaria worldwide and describes progress in many countries in the effort to control the disease.

Malaria: The global situation

An estimated 350-500 million people suffer from malaria every year. Describing the situation, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said: “Malaria is a disease that that kills one child in sub-Saharan Africa every 30 seconds. The numbers are astounding, and unacceptable.  Globally, more than 1 million people die due to malaria every year, the vast majority of them young children under the age of five.”

Malaria is a preventable and curable disease. “We will not be able to substantially reduce child deaths in Africa and meet the Millennium Development Goals without getting serious about combating malaria,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kul Gautam. “The science is proven. We now have tools that work and we know how to deliver them. There is now no excuse for failing so many children.”

© UNICEF Esaro/2004/Lewnes
A mother airs out a bed net in Chatawi, Malawi. The use of insecticide-treated bed nets can reduce malaria illness by 50 percent in areas of high transmission.

World Malaria Report: Progress made but much remains to be done

In the last five years, real progress has been made in fighting malaria. The ‘World Malaria Report’ describes successful control efforts that are having an impact in many countries worldwide. 

Many strategies can help prevent the disease and drastically reduce malaria mortality. Among these is the use of insecticide-treated bed nets, which can reduce malaria illness by 50 per cent in areas of high transmission. Effective anti-malarial drugs such as artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are also available.

However much still remains to be done. The high cost and limited supply of the necessary tools to control the disease remain a challenge.

“Money is not the whole answer. Many developing countries, African countries in particular, need to strengthen their health systems and there is an urgent need for greater investment in research,” said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré. “We are pleased by the recent surge in funding for vaccine research, but strong research initiatives are needed for developing new medicines and safe, new insecticides.”

Overall, the ‘World Malaria Report’ shows that the implementation of effective programs is beginning to bear fruit and is slowly turning the tide against this deadly disease. 




3 May 2005:
UNICEF New York correspondent Sabine Dolan reports on the launch of the “World Malaria Report”.

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