On the eve of World Malaria Day 2012, WHO hails global progress in combating malaria but highlights the need to further reinforce the fight. WHO’s new initiative, T3: Test, Treat, Track, urges malaria-endemic countries and donors to move towards universal access to diagnostic testing and antimalarial treatment, and to build robust malaria surveillance systems.
“In the past ten years, increased investment in malaria prevention and control has saved more than a million lives,” says Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. “This is a tremendous achievement. But we are still far from achieving universal access to life-saving malaria interventions.”
A massive acceleration in the global distribution of mosquito nets, the expansion of programmes to spray the insides of buildings with insecticides, and an increase in access to prompt antimalarial treatment has brought down malaria mortality rates by more than a quarter worldwide, and by one third in Africa since 2000. But simply maintaining current rates of progress will not be enough to meet global targets for malaria control.
WHO therefore urges the global health community to further scale up investments in diagnostic testing, treatment, and surveillance for malaria in order to save more lives and to make a major push towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals in 2015.
Endemic countries should be able to ensure that every suspected malaria case is tested, that every confirmed case is treated with a quality-assured antimalarial medicine, and that the disease is tracked through timely and accurate surveillance systems.
The full article may be accessed at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2012/malaria_20120424/en/index.html