African leads pledge to end malaria by 2015

The United Nations envoy tasked with coordinating efforts against malaria has reported that African leaders are at the forefront of a landmark initiative to end unnecessary deaths from the disease by 2015.

The African Leaders Malarial Alliance was recently formed and tasked with ensuring that more than 240 million insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed, according to

Malaria is believed to kill almost one million Africans every year and to affect over 200 million more. Most of those that succumb are pregnant women and children under the age of five. At least $12 billion of costs through lost development and opportunity are thought to be lost annually.

Launched at United Nations Headquarters in New York, ALMA is a high-level forum set up to oversee the efficient procurement and utilization of malaria control measures.

“Malaria is borderless,” Ray Chambers, the secretary-general’s special envoy for malaria, said, according to “Therefore, we need an organization that transcends borders. This is ALMA.”

Chambers said that the actions of ALMA can go a long way towards saving one million lives every year as it works to end deaths, enhance health infrastructures and grow economies.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a message to the launch that supported the mutual engagement of Africa’s heads of state and government, as well as the support of the international community.

Last year, the international community spent $3 billion on the overall campaign against malaria.

World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan called the launch of ALMA a critical step in the fight against malaria in Africa, reports.