FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

UNDP launches new framework for malaria

The U.N. Development Programme and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership announced a new framework on Tuesday that calls for greater coordinated action between different sectors to fight deadly malaria.

World leaders gathered on Tuesday at the 68th U.N. General Assembly to launch the Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria, an inclusive approach to fighting a disease that kills an estimated 660,000 people annually. The framework identifies actions on the environment and social determinants of malaria, urges a broader development approach to current malaria strategies and encourages practitioners and policymakers to increase partnerships between sectors to increase malaria control and socioeconomic development.

The framework grew out of an RBM-UNDP joint consultation among more than 70 experts from multiple sectors.

"Malaria is a disease associated with lack of socio-economic development, poverty, marginalization and exploitation," Rebeca Grynspan, an associate administrator with UNDP, said. "Each of these dimensions has roots beyond the health sector - so a multi-sectoral response is essential if we are to free the world from the burden of malaria."

While increased funding and additional life-saving interventions led to a 25 percent decrease in global malaria deaths, many factors increasing vulnerability to malaria infection lie outside the health sector. Such factors include education, housing, agriculture, urban planning, mining and transportation.

"We are at a critical moment in Africa, where we can either capitalize on the successes of the past years or slide backwards," Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, said. "To capitalize on our success we need all actors in human development and environmental management to join forces. Multisectoral action on malaria is essential, and I welcome the launch of this important framework."

The framework sets out a path toward a more integrated approach to battling malaria, to meet the Millennium Development Goals and to contribute to the next set of development goals after 2015.