Tuesday, September 29, 2009

African Leaders Malaria Alliance

"Malaria is one of the biggest killers of African children." Recently, "African leaders have begun an ambitious program to eliminate nearly all malaria deaths in Africa over the next six years." Initiated by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance was established "to streamline the procurement and distribution of control and treatment methods while keeping the disease high on the international development agenda" (Scott). "The international community has already donated more than $3 billion to the project, the BBC reports, adding, "The money will pay for the distribution of 240 million insecticide-treated bed nets throughout sub-Saharan Africa by the end of next year" (Nyaria).

"Africa is the continent most affected by malaria, accounting for 86 percent of all cases and 91 percent of all malaria deaths worldwide" (Henry). The statistics are sobering. "Nearly twenty percent of African women who die in childbirth" suffer "from malaria. It accounts for one-quarter of all deaths of children under five" (Scott). Every year, nearly a million people die.

The goal of the alliance "is to provide universal access to malaria control methods to all at-risk Africans by the end of next year in hopes of eliminating all preventable malaria deaths by 2015" (Scott). Ray Chambers, the Secretary General's Special Envoy for Malaria, says, "This is a massive undertaking unlike anything that has ever been done before."

Associated Press. (via VOAnews.com) [Photo]

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. "African Leaders Malaria Alliance Launched At U.N. General Assembly." Medical News Today. 29 Sept 2009.

Nyaria, Sandra. "African Leaders in Alliance to End Malaria Deaths on Continent By 2015." VOAnews.com. 23 Sept 2009.

Stearns, Scott. "African Leaders Fight Malaria." VOAnews.com. http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-09-22-voa52.cfm?rss=topstories. 29 Sept 2009.

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