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Notice to Readers: Africa Malaria Day and Malaria Awareness Day --- April 25, 2007

Malaria is a preventable and treatable parasitic disease that continues to cause at least 1 million deaths worldwide each year, with approximately 90% of these deaths occurring among young children in Africa (1). On April 25, 2000, government leaders from 44 African countries met in Abuja, Nigeria, and signed the Abuja Declaration, committing their countries to decreasing malaria deaths in Africa by 50% by 2010 (2). Since then, April 25 has been commemorated as Africa Malaria Day (AMD) worldwide. This year's theme, Free Africa from Malaria NOW!, is a reminder of the effects of malaria and underscores the possibility that current measures might soon reduce the burden of malaria in Africa. This year, April 25 also marks the first Malaria Awareness Day in the United States, declared at the White House Summit on Malaria in December 2006.

The fight against malaria recently received renewed commitment and resources. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GF), founded in 2002, is the largest source of funding for malaria control, providing two thirds of all international financing. GF has approved $2.6 billion in grants over 5 years to programs in 85 countries. Of this, $698 million has been disbursed to 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

On AMD 2005, the World Bank pledged $500 million in a 3-year intensive first phase to accelerate progress against malaria in Africa through its Global Strategy and Booster Program for Malaria Control, which aims to strengthen program design and implementation, increase intervention coverage, and improve outcomes. As of AMD 2007, the bank has committed $357 million, benefiting 14 countries in Africa.

In May 2005, the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA) at PATH,* an international nonprofit organization, partnered with Zambia to implement rapid scale-up of malaria interventions. These measures also were supported by other local and global partners. During 2004--2006, the percentages of households owning insecticide-treated nets and of young children and pregnant women sleeping under insecticide-treated nets doubled (3). During 2007, Zambia anticipates distributing approximately 3 million insecticide-treated nets, reaching more than 85% of eligible households with an indoor residual spraying program in 15 districts, and extending artemisinin-combination treatment coverage to all district health facilities. By the end of 2007, MACEPA will engage two more sub-Saharan countries and in 2008 up to three more to promote similar rapid scale-up of interventions.

In June 2005, the U.S. government launched the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) (http://www.pmi.gov), pledging $1.2 billion over the next 5 years to support measures to reduce malaria deaths by 50% in each of the selected 15 sub-Saharan Africa countries after 3 years of full implementation. CDC has worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development to implement PMI. PMI also collaborates with host ministries of health to support the National Malaria Control Strategy in each country and coordinates with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; the World Bank; Roll Back Malaria; UNICEF; and other organizations. Approximately 1 year after implementation in the first three countries, PMI had reached more than 6 million persons with malaria prevention and control interventions (4).

In addition, other programs and groups (e.g., Nothing But Nets, a grassroots campaign of the United Nations Foundation and partners, and Malaria No More, a nonprofit organization) were recently created and collaborate with other organizations that address malaria in Africa.

References

  1. Bryce J, Boschi-Pinto C, Shibuya K, Black RE, WHO Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group. WHO estimates of the causes of death in children. Lancet 2005;365:1147--52.
  2. Roll Back Malaria Partnership, World Health Organization. The Abuja Declaration and the plan of action. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2000. Available at http://www.rbm.who.int/docs/abuja_declaration.pdf.
  3. Zambia Ministry of Health; PATH; Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa; Zambia Central Statistical Office; CDC; World Health Organization. Zambia national malaria indicator survey 2006. Available at http://www.path.org/files/MACEPA_malaria_survey.pdf.
  4. United States Agency for International Development. The President's malaria initiative. Saving the lives of mothers and children in Africa. First annual report. March 2007. Available at http://www.fightingmalaria.gov/resources/pmi_annual_report.pdf

* Information available at http://www.path.org.

2005--2006: Angola, Tanzania, Uganda; 2006--2007: Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal; 2007--2008: Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, and Zambia.

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Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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Date last reviewed: 4/18/2007

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