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Opinion Pieces Marking World Malaria Day Urge Sustainability In Prevention, Treatment Programs

Wednesday, April 25, marks World Malaria Day, which this year has the theme “Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.” The following opinion pieces address the fight against malaria.

  • Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka, AlertNet: Though “[a] lot of efforts have been channeled into sensitizing the public on the use of insecticide treated nets, and residual in door spraying, … [a] lot more efforts need to be put into raising public awareness on case diagnoses,” recognizing malaria complications, and preventing drug and blood supply stock outs, Bakeera-Kitaka, a member of the decision-making framework team for the introduction of the malaria vaccine in Uganda and of the GAVI Alliance Civil Society Steering Committee, writes. “Whether the malaria map will keep shrinking, as it has in the past decade, or be reclaimed by the malaria parasites, depends, to a great extent, on the resources that will be invested in control efforts over the next few years,” she concludes (4/23).
  • Robert Cunnane, The Citizen: Noting that Tanzania has made “substantial progress” against malaria, Cunnane, USAID mission director and head of the President’s Malaria Initiative in Tanzania, writes, “Successfully removing malaria as a public health threat may be within our reach, but it continues to require an aggressive strategy based on broad partnerships and political will.” He continues, “The U.S. Government has taken extraordinary steps to curb the spread of this preventable and curable disease, but in spite of this progress, malaria prevention and control remains a matter of urgent public health for Tanzania,” concluding, “Investment in malaria reduction is a key part of the U.S. Government’s Global Health Initiative, but the ultimate success of our efforts will be judged by the partnerships we build and sustain” (4/23).
  • Carolyn Woo, Huffington Post Blog: “[S]imple, inexpensive interventions,” such as insecticide-treated bednets, inexpensive treatments, and rapid diagnostic tests, “are making real strides against malaria today,” Woo, president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), writes. “CRS is employing the same kind of resourcefulness and resilience that all of those involved in this fight need to win it,” she says and describes several CRS programs working to prevent and treat malaria in West Africa, where the disease is endemic. “On this World Malaria Day, let us redouble our commitment to eradicating this pernicious disease,” Woo concludes (4/23).