African Leaders Discuss Ways To Achieve Universal Malaria Control Measures Deadline

The challenges associated with protecting the people of Africa from malaria took center stage Monday during the second day of the African Union (AU) Summit, the New Times/ reports (2/2).

Twenty-six heads of state convened the first working session of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), a group that “aims to defeat the disease, which accounts for over 25 percent of all deaths of children under the age of five across Africa, affects over 50 million pregnant women and is responsible for 10 percent of all maternal mortalities every year,” U.N. News Centre reports (2/1). During World Malaria Day 2008, the U.N. Secretary-General challenged leaders to provide universal access to malaria control measures in Africa by 2010, according to the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report (4/25/08).

“The 26-nation ALMA coalition said that in the past 12 months alone at least 90 million long-lasting, insecticidal mosquito nets were delivered in Africa, and overall 200 million such nets have been distributed to 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, where virtually all malaria deaths occur,” according to the U.N. News Centre.

“In the remaining year until the Secretary-General’s deadline to ensure that all people at risk are protected from the disease, African leadership has the greatest authority to ensure the realization of these goals,” said Ray Chambers, the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy for malaria. “By collaborating through ALMA and joining together to defeat this deadly disease, Africa’s leaders are reaping tremendous benefits in cost-savings, efficiencies, and sharing of best practices – all of which will translate into millions of lives saved,” he said (2/1).

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