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Continued Political, Financial Support Needed To Reduce Global Malaria Incidence

“With the globally agreed target of reversing the incidence rate of malaria by 2015 now in sight, top United Nations officials [on Thursday] urged the international community to stay committed to protecting people from this preventable disease and to scale up key interventions such as the provision of insecticide-treated mosquito nets,” the U.N. News Centre reports, noting April 25 marked the annual World Malaria Day, with this year’s theme, “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.” In statements, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for Malaria Ray Chambers, and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Executive Director Mark Dybul all stressed political will, financial support, and continuing cooperation to beat malaria, according to the news service (4/25).

Meeting this week with African ministers of health in Addis Ababa, “African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs Mustapha Kaloko says funding is the main challenge, when it comes to fighting malaria,” VOA News reports. “We Africans must create [an] innovative domestic national health financing model. We cannot and should not continue to rely on external funding for health. The experience of the last few years has shown that external funding are neither predictable nor assured,” Kaloko said, according to the news agency. An estimated $26.9 billion is needed over the next three years to reach the MDG on malaria, VOA notes (Van Der Wolf, 4/25). In related news, IRIN examines several recent scientific advancements in malaria treatment and prevention research (4/26).