With less than 300 days before the deadline set by the United Nations secretary-general to guarantee universal coverage with all anti-malarial interventions, some African nations have already started “counting malaria out,” according to a report by UNICEF and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.
From 2004 to 2009, there has been a tenfold rise in global malaria financing reaching USD1.8 billion in 2009, along with a fivefold increase in the production of insecticide-treated nets to 150 million worldwide and more than a 30-fold increase in artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) procurement to 160 million, the “World Malaria Day 2010: Africa Update” stressed.
The USD1.8 billion global malaria funding by end-2009, however, still fails to reach the USD6 billion annual requirement of the Global Malaria Action Plan to provide universal coverage of malaria control interventions.
The report added that of the 350 million insecticide-treated nets needed to ensure universal coverage, about 200 million were already provided in African countries between 2007 and 2009. However, the number of African children receiving ACT remains low.
“With strong collaboration, great progress has been made in the battle against malaria,” UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman said. “But more remains to be done as children and pregnant women are still dying of this preventable and treatable disease, especially in Africa. “