Today, April 25, 2013 is World Malaria Day.
Malaria is a deadly, mosquito-borne disease which is a current, global health concern. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates around 350-500 million cases of Malaria occur worldwide each year, and more than 1 million deaths are attributed to Malaria, most deaths occurring in young children in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism.
In March 2007 “World Malaria Day” was established and approved during the 60th World Health Assembly (WHA). It replaced “Africa Malaria Day” which was commemorated every year since 2001 on April 25th. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of malaria as a disease that is preventable and treatable and to mobilize communities across the world to get involved in the fight against it.
In 2008 the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership unveiled the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP), which sets out what needs to be achieved to meet the short, medium and long term goals of malaria control, elimination and eventual eradication. In 2008 the Partnership kick-started it’s “Counting malaria out” campaign. This two-year campaign is intensifying global efforts to reach the first important malaria milestone by 2010 – universal coverage for all populations at risk with locally appropriate interventions for prevention and case management, and a reduction in the number of malaria cases and deaths by 50%.
The campaign and GMAP therefore call on all malaria endemic countries, RBM partners and donors to put extra efforts into comprehensively tracking progress in malaria prevention and treatment along the path to near-zero deaths by 2015 and the gradual elimination of malaria.
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