Ban: Fight against malaria at critical juncture

The world is at a critical moment in the battle against malaria, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said during an event on Monday.

Ban made the statement during a meeting on malaria and the development agenda in Yokohama, Japan. He said that financial gaps are threatening progress the world has made on malaria and that now is the time to make more investments.

Ban said programs like Roll Back Malaria have proved that partnerships can produce sustainable malaria results. He added that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria showed that strong and predictable support leads to progress.

"Malaria is a human tragedy that robs families of their children and devastates communities," Ban said. "It also takes a toll on national economies. For all these reasons, malaria must remain high on the global agenda in this final push to reach the Millennium Development Goals - and as look ahead to a post-2015 framework. The economic argument is quite clear, if we invest $1 on responding to malaria we can have $40 in return for domestic growth or domestic product."

Ban said that success against malaria, a treatable and preventable disease, requires both effective aid and domestic ownership of the matter.