The achievements of the global malaria fight fuel hopes of reaching the ambitious targets of extending control tools to the entire planet by next year and reducing deaths to almost zero by 2015.
On the second World Malaria Day, April 25, representatives from leading organizations in the struggle against this global epidemic praised the results of the global anti-malaria action, which has led to a remarkable reduction of new cases and deaths.
"Scaling-up effective interventions has led to declines in malaria cases and deaths at health facilities in many countries, including Eritrea, Rwanda, Zambia and Madagascar," UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said in a statement.
In a report published jointly with Roll Back Malaria and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF said that endemically hit countries in Africa received enough nets for their at-risk population between 2004 and 2008.
"We are, for the first time in history, poised to make malaria a rare cause of death and disability," Veneman said.
In a statement, RBM Executive Director Awa Marie Coll-Seck said governments and civil society groups have intensified their action against malaria, ensuring a crucial contribution to the global partnership's strategies.
"On this World Malaria Day we can report a dramatic upsurge in action by all partners – new data, new initiatives, a vast expansion of groups joining the malaria fight," Coll-Seck said. "This is a triumph of countries' efforts, international cooperation and demonstrates unwavering commitment to implementing the RBM Global Plan and saving lives."