On World Malaria Day 2012: How to protect progress, save lives

A Rapid Diagnostic Test helps diagnose malaria by detecting evidence of the parasites in human blood. Greater spending on malaria control is needed to sustain the progress made in the fight against the disease. Photo by: Novartis AG / CC BY-NC-ND

Increased investments and smarter interventions are needed to protect recent gains in the fight against malaria, aid and research groups have stressed ahead of World Malaria Day April 25 (Wednesday).

Greater spending on malaria control, particularly to address drug resistance, is needed to sustain progress in the global campaign against the disease, theWorld Health Organization stressed April 23.WHO also put the spotlight on the need to raise public awareness and address financial constrains that threaten to undermine progress to control malaria.

“We now have the challenge of having to raise around $3.2 billion to get us to the point of having a chance to be at near-zero deaths by 2015,” Ray Chambers, the secretary-general’s special envoy for malaria, said at a news conference. The additional funding will be used to purchase bed nets, which need to be replaced every three years, and to facilitate access to medicines and rapid diagnosis.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, meanwhile, has called for more intelligent approaches and increased funding for evidence-based interventions. Steady investments in malaria-related efforts in the laboratory and on the ground are necessary are necessary to avoid losing ground due to insufficient funds, experts from the school said, according to Reuters.

Both calls are in line with the theme for this year’s World Malaria Day: “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.” The public can join observation of the event through TwitterFacebook or the official World Malaria Day website.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.