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NetworkNewsToday: WORLD MALARIA REPORTS PROGRESS (W.H.O.)
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NetworkNewsToday: 15 December 2009 - W.H.O.: Geveva - Significant progress has been made in delivering life saving malaria nets and treatments over the past few years, but the coverage of malaria programmes needs to be stepped up drastically in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), according to a report released today (15 December) by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The World Malaria Report 2009 found that the increase in international funding commitments (US$ 1.7 billion in 2009 compared to US$ 730 million in 2006) had allowed a dramatic scale up of malaria control interventions in several countries, along with measurable reductions in malaria burden. However, the amounts available still fall short of the US$ 5 billion required annually to ensure high coverage and maximal impact worldwide.
The report found that more life-saving malaria nets and treatments were delivered in 2007 and 2008 compared to 2006.
More African households (31%) own at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN), and more children under 5 years of age used an ITN in 2008 (24%) compared to previous years. These averages are affected by low ITN ownership in several large African countries for which resources for scale-up are only now being made available. Household ITN ownership reached more than 50% in 13 of the 35 highest burden African countries.
Use of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) is increasing but remains low in most African countries with fewer than 15% of children with fever receiving an ACT.
More than one-third of the 38 malarious countries (9 African countries and 29 outside of Africa) documented reductions in malaria cases of more than 50% in 2008 compared to 2000.
Large decreases in malaria cases and deaths have been mirrored by steep declines in all-cause deaths among children less than 5 years of age suggesting that intensive efforts at malaria control could help many African countries to reach, by 2015, a two-thirds reduction in child mortality as set forth in the MDGs.
The report noted that there was urgent need for the global community to completely fund the Global Malaria Action Plan in order to sustain early success and achieve the 2015 MDGs. The African Region had the largest increase in funding of all regions, led by investments by the Global Fund, the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative, and other agencies. . .......... .......... . . NetworkNewsToday:
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