The United Nations Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, recently released a report highlighting the advances that have been made in expanding malaria control interventions. The report cites notable progress in achieving Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s goal of providing universal distribution of proven malarial interventions to all endemic African countries by the end of 2010.
Mr. Chambers notes that the expansion of prevention and treatment options are the result of a bolder global commitment to fight malaria, including over $3 billion in pledges for malaria funding, and underscores last year’s announcement that the world can reach near-zero deaths from malaria by 2015 with increased momentum.
According to the report, the most encouraging development in the past year was reaching more than 40 percent coverage of endemic African populations with long-lasting, insecticidal bed nets, and more than 60 percent coverage for 18 specific countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, where a vast majority of malaria deaths occur, there has been more than 140 million bed nets distributed to those in need in the past three years. Mr. Chambers comments, “With the great progress that has been, and is being, made with respect to the distribution of nets, the African leadership is now putting forth great efforts to make their people aware of the lifesaving benefits of interventions, like nets, and exhorting everyone in endemic areas to sleep under the nets each and every night.”
Importantly, the report also serves as an impetus for scaling up interventions in order to meet the Secretary-General’s approaching deadline. As Mr. Chambers observes, “At this unique moment in history, when dedicated leadership, proven interventions, available resources and collective will have converged to turn the tide against this scourge, we cannot permit complacency to dull our resolve.” He concludes that a more intensive, collaborative effort is required to “complete an undertaking previously viewed as impossible.”
Read the entire Progress Report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria.
Nothing But Nets supporters should take pride in being a part of these remarkable achievements in the fight against global malaria. Yet, as Mr. Chambers eloquently states, the job is not yet done. While we celebrate our successes, we must also renew our commitment to eliminating this devastating disease. Send a net. Save a life. And let’s continue to save lives!