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Malaria Mortality Rates Down, But Progress Threatened By Funding Shortfall, WHO Report Says

“Malaria mortality rates have fallen by more than 25 percent globally since 2000, and by 33 percent in the WHO African Region, according to the World Malaria Report 2011, issued [Tuesday] by [the] WHO,” the organization reports in a press release. “This is the result of a significant scaling-up of malaria prevention and control measures in the last decade,” the press release adds. However, the press release notes, “WHO warns that a projected shortfall in funding threatens the fragile gains and that the double challenge of emerging drug and insecticide resistance needs to be proactively addressed” (12/13).  

“At a press conference to launch the [report], Awa Marie Coll-Seck, executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, said the numbers showed that ‘bold leadership and partnership’ were saving millions of lives,” but “she warned that ‘unless we maintain our commitment to scale up the proven, cost-effective tools we have to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria, today’s gains will be reversed and we will lose many more lives to this disease,'” a U.N. news briefing states (12/13). “The toll taken by the current economic crisis must not result in our gains being reversed, or progress slowed. With Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s charge for near zero deaths by end of 2015, turning back now is not an option,” Raymond Chambers, the U.N. Secretary-General’s special envoy for malaria, said, according to the WHO press release (12/13).

Additional coverage of the report is available from the Associated Press/CBS News, BBC NewsBloomberg, the Guardian, MSNBC, Reuters, ScienceInsider, the U.N. News Centre, and VOA News.

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