MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Global Fund: Together we can defeat malaria

New advances in science and implementation are giving the international community the chance to control and remove malaria as a global health threat, according to a statement from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The Global Fund released the statement on Wednesday one day before the observance of World Malaria Day on Thursday. The Global Fund said all partners must commit to the battle against malaria to intensify and expand efforts to make the disease treatable and manageable.

"We can defeat malaria, if we work together," Mark Dybul, the executive director of the Global Fund, said. "We have a chance to control it and sharply reduce the number of children who die from it each year. If we don't act decisively, we will be counting the cost for generations."

While significant progress has been made against malaria in the last decade, such as insecticide-treated nets, more effective malaria drugs and faster diagnostic tests, the gains may be in jeopardy without increased funding. Experts estimate that a drop in anti-malarial efforts could quickly allow a return to pre-2000 levels of mortality. Before 2000, approximately 1.2 million people died annually from malaria. The number is approximately half that amount today.

The Global Fund recently announced a target of raising $15 billion for the 2014-2016 period which could give global partners the necessary resources to transform malaria, TB and AIDS. The Global Fund is encouraging ambitious programs with a new funding model in an effort to align investments in disease programs and strengthen health systems.