African Leaders Urged to Increase Malaria Funding

by VR Sreeraman on  April 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
African leaders were urged Friday to show political commitment by increasing funding towards the fight against malaria, one of the major killer diseases on the continent.
African Leaders Urged to Increase Malaria Funding
African Leaders Urged to Increase Malaria Funding

Awa Marie Coll-Seck, executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, said malaria continues to kill millions in Africa because of poor funding and lack of access to medicines.

"The strong political commitment and leadership of endemic countries, resulting in substantially increased demand for international funding, will be required for continued success," she said.

"Many countries are asking for resources short of their full needs for national coverage," she added during the commemoration of World Malaria Day in Zambia's southern tourist town of Livingstone.

Roll Back Malaria, formed in 1998, is a network of key agencies, including the World Health Organisation, World Bank, United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF.

The event was attended by health ministers from southern Africa.

"Donors can only respond to country demands and priorities," Coll-Seck said.

Recent experiences have shown that malaria cases can be reduced by half in a matter of years if bold actions against the disease are made urgent, she added.

Malaria is prevalent among pregnant women and children under five years.

Roll Back Malaria said it will engage the G8 leading industrialised nations and other rich countries to show solidarity with endemic countries by providing multiple funding towards the fight against malaria.

Malaria kills more than a million people worldwide every year, with 90 percent of them in Africa, Roll Back Malaria said.

Source: AFP

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