Opinion Pieces Published in Recognition Of World Malaria Day
Wednesday is World Malaria Day, observed annually on April 25. This year’s theme is “Invest in the future: defeat malaria.” The following is a summary of opinion pieces published in recognition of the day.
- Ray Chambers, Financial Times: “We have witnessed with malaria that a great deal can occur in only a short time,” Chambers, the U.N. secretary-general’s special envoy for malaria, writes. “We celebrate this World Malaria Day with more than one million children who otherwise would not have lived to see their fifth birthdays without our shared commitment,” he notes, adding, “The malaria community — in fewer than 60 months — has redefined for itself what is possible. … The efforts of the malaria community must now expand in scope and deepen in urgency as we turn our attention to an even greater pursuit within a narrower timeframe” (4/25).
- Lynne Featherstone, Huffington Post U.K.’s “Politics” blog: “In the worst-affected countries malaria has a devastating impact on health systems and economies,” but “amongst the gloom there are genuine signs that we may finally be winning the battle against malaria,” Featherstone, parliamentary under-secretary of state for international development in the U.K., writes and provides statistics. “Yet there is a danger that this anti-malaria coalition is fragmenting” as “[g]lobal funding for malaria is leveling off and is in danger of falling in the coming years, threatening the reversal of a decade of progress,” she continues, adding, “The U.K. will not stand on the sidelines while millions suffer from this entirely preventable and treatable disease” (4/25).
- Emilie Filou, The Guardian’s “Global Development Professionals Network”: “Efforts to encourage investment in malaria prevention are nothing new, but they take on a new meaning this year with the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria — which funds 60-70 percent of all international investments in malaria — scheduled for the autumn,” Filou, a freelance journalist, writes. “Richard Feachem, [the] Global Fund’s former director, now director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, says that malaria professionals should also advocate in favor of the fund keeping as broad a remit as possible,” she notes (4/25).
- Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Tim Ziemer, Huffington Post’s “World” blog: World Malaria Day marks “the second anniversary of a remarkable effort to engage 3,000 Peace Corps volunteers across Africa in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease that kills 600,000 people a year, typically the most vulnerable among us — children under age five in Africa,” Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps, and Ziemer, head of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), write. “Over the past two years, volunteers in the Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative have leveraged free online tools and cloud computing,” they note, adding, “This new Peace Corps, leveraging a fresh generation of volunteers and their technologies combined with the tried and true community-level approach, and the President’s Malaria Initiative, with its expertise and resources, are a model of how government can work together efficiently. With our partners, we aim to put an end to this horrible disease” (4/24).
- David Kaslow, The Guardian’s “Global Development Professionals Network”: Noting “Saturday, last week, marked the beginning of World Immunization Week, and Thursday is World Malaria Day,” Kaslow, director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, writes, “It seems a fitting time to consider these two occasions by posing a seemingly simple, but in fact quite complex, question: what is the role for malaria vaccines in the on-going effort to turn the tide against malaria, an ancient scourge, and ultimately to eradicate this wily parasite?” He continues, “For decades, the answer unfortunately was a quite clear and quite frustrating ‘none’ because, despite compelling scientific evidence that it should be feasible, the Plasmodium parasite outwitted the tools we had at hand. … But we have turned a corner,” and “I am more optimistic than ever about the global malaria vaccine pipeline” (4/24).
- Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Financial Times: “This year, the synchronized messages are petitioning us all to continue investing our attention, our resources and our collective will in the future, in order to defeat malaria once and for all,” Nafo-Traoré, executive director of Roll Back Malaria, writes. “In Africa, every day is malaria day. Every day our children get sick, and one is needlessly lost to the disease each minute,” she continues, adding, “But, as the region that bears the brunt of malaria’s burden, with 90 percent of global deaths, Africa has also led the charge.” She concludes, “Our common malaria goals are more achievable now than ever, although they need the continued commitment of all involved in order to be secured” (4/25).
- Carolyn Woo, Baltimore Sun: “Malaria is an enormous and tragic problem — that can be beat,” Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services and a member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, writes, adding, “Today is World Malaria Day, and I am pleased to celebrate the lives saved and enriched by recent attention and investments.” She continues, “A coordinated and concerted effort to eradicate malaria is currently under way, and it has had and will continue to have a profound effect if we all join the effort” (4/25).
- Jo Yirrell, Huffington Post U.K.’s “Impact” blog: “Thursday is World Malaria Day — a moment to reflect on the enormous global efforts taking place to rid the world of this terrible disease. It’s also a poignant reminder of all those who have lost their lives to malaria, including my son Harry who died in 2005,” Yirrell, special ambassador for Malaria No More U.K., writes. She continues, “I care about malaria. I care about all the children malaria is taking from this world every day. I care about the mothers and fathers who are grieving for the loss of their children. I care about you caring about malaria. I care that we all don’t care enough” (4/25).