ON THE RISE, CHILDREN MOST VULNERABLE
World Bank, WHO, UNICEF, and UNDP, call for much more action in the fight
April 18, 2001--Malaria, one of the world's most important public health
concerns, is on the rise again, causing over a million deaths a year,
including an estimated 700,000 children. According to the WHO, in absolute
numbers, malaria kills 3,000 children under 5 years old, every day a death
toll comparable to that of AIDS. Effective malaria control programs have
led to dramatic declines in death in some countries, but obstacles remain
in many of the world's poorest countries.
to implement effective nation-wide programs is the focus of attention
of the Fourth Global Partnership Meeting to Roll Back Malaria, hosted
by the World Bank in Washington D.C. from April 18th-19th 2001. The meeting
brings together health and finance officials from twenty-one malaria-affected
countries, representatives of NGOs, industry, the private sector, foundations,
research institutions, donors and UN agencies to agree on methods to strengthen
their capacity to expand malaria programs beyond the public and health
"Roll Back Malaria
movement has clearly made extraordinary progress in many countries across
the world, enabling hundreds of thousands of people living in poor communities
to better access prevention and treatment services." according to
Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
"But there remains much to be done. I hope that international and
national agencies, encouraged by the progress, will commit additional
resources so that actions to Roll Back Malaria can be scaled up and millions
more can benefit."
The rising numbers
of people affected by Malaria overwhelms national health services, sustains
poverty and weakens societies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where
ninety percent of the cases occur. The cost of prevention and treatment
consumes scarce household resources and the disease continues to have
a negative impact on the health of children.
"Malaria is much
more than a health issue. In many countries, it is now endangering development,
targeting the poor and especially children who have little or no defense."
according to James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group. "We
need to give them those defenses. We have seen in Asia, Latin America
and some African countries, that malaria can be controlled with the right
tools and resources. We need to work aggressively with local NGOs and
with the private sector to fight malaria at the local level, and work
with governments to scale up local programs into national strategies."
The meetings provide
a platform for countries to share experiences on expanding country level
partnerships to achieve effective nation-wide programs to reach the Roll
Back Malaria (RBM) goals of halving the burden of malaria by 2010. It
will also examine the role of the Government and potential contributions
of the private sector and NGOs to form better partnerships that will extend
malaria programs beyond the public health sector. In addition participants
will discuss the challenges they face in mobilizing, and effectively employing
external resources, and the opportunities provided through national Poverty
Reduction Strategies and the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries
Initiative to scale-up successful malaria programs.
The Roll Back Malaria
(RBM) initiative was launched jointly by the World Bank, WHO, UNICEF,
and UNDP in November, 1998 in New York. It responds to the concerns of
Heads of State in more than 30 malaria-affected countries and to the particular
problems faced by their poor communities.
RBM is headed by David
Alnwick who was recently appointed as Project Manager in January, 2001.
Dr. Alnwick was Chief of the Health Section in the Program Division of
UNICEF's New York Headquarters for the last three years. RBM is not a
financing mechanism, but aims to support countries through global partnerships
to ensure that they have effective access to the information, technology
and financial resources required to reduce the burden of malaria.
An alarming upsurge
in malaria cases in Azerbaijan during the mid-90s is being reversed through
the efforts of a public-private partnership brokered in 1998 by the Roll
Back Malaria global partnership.
During its first year
of operation the malaria program, funded by a private sector multinational
company and supported by international and other UN agencies, helped reduce
malaria cases by over 50 percent.
In the Tigray region
of northern Ethiopia, where less than half the population live within
easy reach of a health center, more than half a million people are treated
for malaria every year by a network of more than 700 volunteer health
Mothers are also recruited
to teach other mothers how to diagnose and treat malaria in the home.
This has led to a 40% reduction in overall death rates among children
less than five. Death rates of children from other villages outside this
scheme, continue to be high.
Over half a million
Cambodians live in hilly areas or work in forests where malaria is rife.
The prevalence of malaria is more than 50 percent of malaria prevalence
are found in children living in hill villages.
The National malaria
program brought together several partners including the International
Federation of the Red Cross, the European Commission, WHO and others,
to fight outbreaks in the rural areas of the country. Cambodia's commitment
to malaria control has significantly reduced the number of cases per year.
For more information
on the Roll Back Malaria movement please visit the website:
For more information on the World Bank please visit:
For more information on World Health Organization please visit:
For more information on UNICEF please visit:
For more information on UNDP please visit
About Us Health
News Health Topics Country
copyright © 2000, 2001 MEDILINKS.ORG. All rights reserved.