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Partnerships Will Help Defeat Malaria

“In the past 10 years, partners working together have reversed malaria’s spread and prevented millions of deaths, mostly of children under the age of five. Yet even with all that progress, malaria still claims a child’s life every minute,” President of Liberia Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Executive Director Mark Dybul write in the Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog. “So we have more work to do,” they state, adding that with existing “tools to defeat this disease,” such as long-acting insecticide-treated bednets and new drugs and diagnostics, “[w]e will achieve greatness by getting it done.”

“Controlling malaria isn’t only a prospect of preventing needless deaths, it is an economic imperative,” Sirleaf and Dybul continue, noting, “Defeating malaria is one of the first steps we can take to speed up Africa-driven economic growth.” They note, “Later this year, the international community will gather to pledge money to the Global Fund for the next three years,” which will provide “the kind of investment where the return will be measured in lives saved, and the increased productivity of developing countries no longer burdened by deaths from mosquito bites.” In addition, “African leaders will continue to demonstrate their own commitment to national health programs both financially and with human resources,” they state. Noting there are fewer than 1,000 days until the deadline for the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the authors conclude that “[m]eeting the health-related MDGs would no doubt be a great accomplishment for our global brothers and sisters, but history will judge us by whether or not we fill our war chest and use our proven strategies and tools to defeat these diseases. As partners in this fight, this is our shared opportunity and responsibility” (5/21).