NEW YORK, December 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) applauds the progress announced today in the World Health Organization's 2011 World Malaria Report, which finds a 26% drop in global malaria deaths since the year 2000, and a more than five percent drop in the past year.
Africa recorded an even larger reduction in malaria deaths - 33 percent since 2000 - a further sign of progress toward the global goal of near-zero malaria deaths by the end of 2015.
The current global estimate of 655,000 annual deaths from malaria is the lowest to date. However, the report finds that 91 percent of global malaria deaths and approximately 81 percent (174 million) of malaria cases still occur on the African continent.
"Now, more than ever, African heads of state and government are committed to ensuring that Africa's women and children are protected from malaria," said Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of ALMA. "We've made significant progress, but we can't stop now or we risk stalling our advance against malaria-or even losing the gains we've made."
ALMA welcomes the announced progress toward universal coverage of life-saving malaria control interventions - including insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying, diagnostic tests, and effective artemisinin-based treatments - which continue to demonstrate impressive return on investment.
The WHO report finds that global malaria funding is expected to peak at $2 billion in 2011, but may decline to $1.5 billion by 2015. ALMA urges global donors to continue their vigorous support of the malaria fight, and pledges to explore additional sources of funding including increased African domestic commitments to public health and innovative finance approaches. Endemic country programs must also work to find efficiencies and prioritize evidence-based approaches that ensure existing dollars are used to maximal effect.
A number of African countries already face critical malaria control financing gaps in the next three years. ALMA cautions that disruptions in access to prevention and treatment will lead to rebounds in malaria incidence, morbidity and mortality, effectively undoing the hard won gains highlighted in this year's World Malaria Report.
African Leaders Malaria Alliance
An alliance of 41 African Heads of State and Government, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance is committed to working to end malaria-related deaths. Learn more at ALMA2015.org.
SOURCE African Leaders Malaria Alliance