SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

U.N. launches multi-level strategy to battle malaria

The U.N. and a coalition of partners launched a multi-level approach on Tuesday to battle malaria, identifying actions to address the environmental and social determinants of malaria.

The U.N. Development Program and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership announced the Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria on Tuesday at the 68th U.N. General Assembly in New York. The framework calls for more coordinated action among different development sectors to battle the disease.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made malaria a top priority under his second mandate. Despite major advances, malaria still kills an estimated 660,000 people around the world each year.

"A multisectoral approach is critical to our development efforts, including malaria, as we work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and develop a post-2015 development framework," Keizo Takemi, a member of the House of Councillors in the National Diet of Japan, said. "This is particularly true in the Asian context where we face the threat of artemisinin resistant malaria. Various stakeholders from different sectors of Japan are engaged in combating malaria to attain the overall economic and social development of the region."

In addition to health-related consequences, malaria poses a major challenge to development. According to the UNDP, the disease costs Africa approximately $12 billion in lost productivity per year.

"With half the world's population still at risk of malaria, and uncertain funding in the future we must expand our approach and maximize the impact of our investments," Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, the executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, said. "The Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria will guide the global response to malaria in coming years as we develop the next phase of the Global Malaria Action Plan as well as the post-2015 agenda."