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World Malaria Day

Malaria & Children: Progress in Intervention Coverage

© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-0652/Pirozzi
One-year-old Zinnah Konneh, who is severely malnourished, and his mother Amie, 28, lie under an insecticide-treated bednet at a WFP-sponsored feeding centre in Virginia, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Monrovia, the capital.
24 April 2009 – Major signs of progress across Africa in the fight against malaria, particularly the increase in distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), is one of the findings of the new ‘Malaria and Children, Progress in Intervention Coverage’ report that was released today.

However the report, a joint effort between UNICEF, the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, also highlights that the disease still causes an estimated 1 million deaths each year, most of these children in Africa.

Malaria control is now a major global development priority and is critical for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. The theme of this year’s World Malaria Day, which is marked on April 25, is "Counting malaria out", and there are now just over 600 days remaining until 31 December 2010, the Secretary-General’s deadline for all endemic countries to achieve universal coverage with essential malaria control interventions.

Increased global awareness about malaria has contributed to a significant rise in available resources over recent years, thanks to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the US President’s Malaria Initiative, the World Bank, and others.

Since 2004 the number of insecticide-treated nets produced worldwide has more than tripled—from 30 million to 100 million in 2008. Based on manufacturers’ estimates, endemic African countries overall received enough nets during 2004–2008 to cover more than 40 per cent of their at-risk populations, and financing is now available to purchase an estimated 240 million additional nets in 2009–2010 putting Africa well on the way to achieving universal coverage by 2010.

UNICEF is the world’s largest global procurer and deliverer of ITNs with 20 million procured in 2008.  The number of nets procured by UNICEF is 20 times greater today than in 2000. These nets are distributed to pregnant women and young children as part of integrated programmes that include antenatal care and immunization.

Related press releases and news notes:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - 24 April 2009 - On World Malaria Day, UNICEF highlights successes but calls for greater effort

ACCRA, GHANA, 3 September 2008 - UNICEF Executive Director announces $1.7 million for the fight against malaria in Ghana

NEW YORK, 25 April 2008 - On World Malaria Day, UNICEF Calls for a Sustained Effort to Control Killer Disease

BRUSSELS, 3 December 2007 - The European Community grants UNICEF €4.8 million to boost anti-malaria efforts in four African countries




21 April 2009: UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman talks about the progress UNICEF and its partners have made towards eradicating malaria.
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