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Roll Back Malaria Initiative receives boost in funding

© UNICEF/HQ04-1276/Pirozzi
Katuwala Saruwai, 10, embraces his sleeping baby brother Kalu at a local health clinic in the Trobriand Islands of Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. Ten-month-old Kalu is suffering from severe malaria, a primary cause of child deaths in the country.

By Kun Li

NEW YORK, USA, 27 July 2006 – The global fight against malaria has received a major financial boost, thanks to contributions and new initiatives from the partners of the Roll Back Malaria Initiative.

As reviewed during the 10th annual board meeting of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, resources available to fight malaria have greatly increased, creating the potential for a much greater malaria control.

One of the major contributors is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Over the past five years some $2.2 billion was committed to halt malaria throughout the world. Senior Advisor of the Global Fund, Dr. Bernard Nahlen, participated in the meeting.

© UNICEF/HQ05-0756/Bagla
A local health worker (left) demonstrates the use of an insecticide-treated mosquito net to a group of children and adults in Arong village on remote Car Nicobar Island, India.

“The Global Fund’s job is to raise money and to spend it effectively, and ultimately to decrease the burden of HIV, TB and malaria in affected-populations, primarily in developing countries,” he explained.

“The principle recipients of the grant in [each] country are required to report on an ongoing basis whether or not they are doing what they said they were going to do. It’s all about making the money work – and not just putting the money out there. The grant recipient is accountable and responsible to people who are affected by the diseases,” added Dr. Nahlen.

Challenges remain

As opportunities emerge in the fight against the deadly disease that kills 3,000 children every day, great challenges still remain. Director of UNICEF Programme Division Alan Court says that strengthening and improving the effectiveness of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership is the key to success in the global fight against malaria.

© UNICEF/HQ02-0529/Vitale
Francis Zulu, a young boy ill with malaria, sleeps while he is fed intravenously in the emergency room at the Mchinji District Hospital in Central Province, Malawi.

“Now what we are seeing is a much faster uptake of the insecticide-treated nets. It's very interesting to see that, as more nets get distributed, there is a greater demand,” noted Mr. Court.

“A much greater demand puts a pressure on the manufacturers, of course, and on the buyers to be able to produce and deliver on time. UNICEF is one of the principle buyers of bed nets in the world, and is constantly struggling between accurate forecasting, finding resources, and delivering the result,” he added.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership was established by World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme in 1998 to help reduce the impact of malaria worldwide.

Members of the partnership meet annually to share experiences and to strengthen planning, funding, and evaluation in malaria control. Many malaria-endemic countries – such as Nigeria, Cameroon and Tanzania and others – are board members, as are private sector companies like Exxon Mobil, various non-governmental organizations, and foundations like Oxfam and the UN Foundation.




27 July 2006:

Director of UNICEF Programme Division Alan Court
Director of UNICEF Programme Division Alan Court talks about the challenges facing partners working together to fight malaria.
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Dr. Bernard Nahlen
Dr. Bernard Nahlen from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria explains how the organization works to help countries tackle malaria.
 VIDEO  high | low

Dr. T.O. Sofola
Dr. T.O. Sofola of Nigeria talks about how malaria affects the most populous country in Africa.
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