Opinion Pieces Address World Malaria Day
On Thursday, the international community recognized World Malaria Day, observed annually on April 25. This year’s theme was “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.” The following is a summary of opinion pieces published in recognition of the day.
- Ray Chambers, Forbes/Skoll World Forum: “In a world where there are more mobile phones than people, with almost unlimited global connectivity and where transactions occur in seconds not days, it seems incongruous that one out of eight children in sub-Saharan Africa die before reaching their fifth birthday,” Chambers, the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy for malaria, writes. “If we [achieve the U.N. secretary-general’s target of near zero deaths from malaria by 2015], not only will 750 thousand children’s lives be saved, but it will be one of the best examples we have of foreign aid in action and provide an example for the other major child killers: pneumonia and diarrhea,” he continues. “There is … an estimate of a gap of $3.8 billion to cover the full replacement of worn out nets, diagnostic tests and treatment for the next 2.5 years,” he notes, concluding, “Every minute that goes by another child dies of malaria, and that is one minute and one child too many” (4/25).
- Joseph Mwenya Kasonde and Henry Madzorera, Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog: “Diseases do not recognize borders. Mosquitos that transmit malaria don’t either,” Kasonde, a former medical officer in the Ministry of Health of Zambia, and Madzorera, the minister of health and child welfare in Zimbabwe, write. “Today, on World Malaria Day, our countries are coming together to announce a regional initiative that aims to eliminate malaria in the Zambezi valley, an area we find critical to regional development,” they continue, adding, “This cross-border initiative, once fully operational, should act as an accelerator of the transition from malaria control to malaria elimination in the Zambezi Valley, thereby paving way for poverty alleviation, and social and economic prosperity in the region” (4/25).
- Robert Quigley, Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog: “There’s a reason we recognize World Malaria Day annually, and it is this: While there is no vaccine, malaria is both preventable and curable. But travelers, expatriates, businesses, [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] and universities must know the risks beforehand,” Quigley, regional medical director for the Americas region of International SOS, writes. “So it’s become increasingly important today for companies to define their training procedures and policies toward malaria if they have employees operating in medium- to high-risk areas of the continent,” he continues, adding, “Companies with mobile employees, business travelers, and tourists all have a role to play. And getting accurate information out about prevention is the first step” (4/25).
- Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.) and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Politico: “In these times of economic austerity, we recognize the importance of evaluating each program to ensure that the money spent has good results, that recipients are held accountable — and that investments are in the best interest of the United States and its people,” the authors write. “That is why, on World Malaria Day, we should stand together in our support of [the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)],” they continue, adding, “Since PMI’s inception in 2005, the initiative has helped to reduce malaria deaths by approximately 35 percent and given millions across the globe a chance at life.” The authors conclude, “[W]e celebrate the work and the results of PMI, a bipartisan government program that is working to save lives and export our greatest commodity — humanitarian values” (4/24).