SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

WHO calls for increase in funding to fight malaria

The World Health Organization released a report on Wednesday stating that while the fight against malaria is gaining ground, additional resources are needed to eliminate the disease once and for all.

The published report, entitled "World malaria report 2013," said than an estimated 3.3 million lives have been saved since 2000 due to malaria health programs. Globally, the malaria mortality rate has decreased by 45 percent since 2000. The malaria mortality rate has also decreased by 49 percent in Africa in the same time frame.

While the progress made in the fight against malaria is substantial, the WHO argues that the rate of mortality and prevalence is not falling as quickly as it should and additional funding is needed.

"This remarkable progress is no cause for complacency: absolute numbers of malaria cases and deaths are not going down as fast as they could," WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said. "The fact that so many people are infected and dying from mosquito bites is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century."

The WHO estimates 3.4 billion people around the world are still at risk of malaria infections, particularly populations within Africa and Southeast Asia. The WHO is asking for an increase in international support to defeat malaria for good.

"To win the fight against malaria we must get the means to prevent and treat the disease to every family who needs it," United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy for Financing the Health MDGs and for Malaria Raymond G. Chambers said. "Our collective efforts are not only ending the needless suffering of millions, but are helping families thrive and adding billions of dollars to economies that nations can use in other ways."