Global Roadmap To End Malaria Launched At UN Summit
Four million malaria deaths can be diverted by 2015 cites RBM Partnership
New York / Geneva, 25 Sept 2008 (RBM Partnership): More than 4 million lives can be saved by 2015 if resources are scaled up, reports a new malaria elimination plan today, launched by members of the international community attending the UN Summit in New York. The Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP) details how to accelerate action against malaria, across countries and regions, leading to elimination of the disease. Developed through the framework of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, it rallies 30 endemic countries and regions and 65 international institutions behind an unprecedented effort to achieve more rapid results against malaria.
Malaria affects half of the world's population – 3.3 billion people in 109 countries – causing nearly 1 million deaths per year. According to GMAP's projections, more than 4.2 million lives can be saved between 2008 and 2015, if the plan is put into action. In addition, millions of dollars of lost GDP can be recovered and critical healthcare resources freed up in regions to tackle other health and social challenges.
Effective malaria control will cost only a fraction of the losses that endemic countries endure today due to malaria, the GMAP posits. Africa alone is estimated to lose at least $12 billion per year in direct costs and much more in GDP losses. Achieving full control in all endemic countries, including strengthening health systems, will cost approximately $5.3 billion in 2009, $6.2 billion in 2010 and $5.1 billion annually from 2011 to 2020. "The action plan that we are putting forward to global leaders today is a historic milestone in the fight against malaria," said Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Director of the RBM Partnership. "Putting the plan into action should now become the next priority for the international community," Coll-Seck added, explaining that implementing the plan will help achieve six of the eight Millennium Development Goals.
The GMAP offers a comprehensive blueprint for reducing malaria. It provides timelines for delivering nets and drugs to all people at risk in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Americas, the Middle East and Eurasia. It also outlines a strategy for increasing investment in research for new tools to eliminate and eventually eradicate malaria globally. Research will cost at least $750 million annually over the next ten years, according to the plan's estimates.
"In Ethiopia, we provided universal access to protective nets in 18 months only," said Dr Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia's Minister of Health and Chair of the RBM Partnership Board. "The challenge now is to make such successes work on a larger scale and in all affected regions. This is what the Global Malaria Action Plan will help us do."
Reflecting malaria's global scale, the plan is being launched today in all malaria endemic regions, including in the Philippines, Kenya, Mali and Brazil. It is endorsed politically at a UN Malaria Summit taking place at UN headquarters in New York.
During the New York launch event, co-hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Malaria No More, the British Government as well as the UN Special Envoy for Malaria, heads of state, business leaders, and international celebrities are expected to pledge their commitment to turning the RBM plan into action.
In his opening address at the UN General Assembly earlier this week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested world leaders to honor their commitments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including Goal 6 which addresses malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis. Mr. Ban cited leadership and partnerships as vital ingredients in combating malaria and other pressing global challenges.
Similar calls to action were echoed by several heads of states at this week's commencement of the 63rd Session of the General Assembly, including African Union President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and G8 leaders US President George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Earlier this month at a malaria awareness campaign in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking as President of the Council of the European Union, urged his international counterparts to mobilize around efforts to eradicate malaria.
The Global Malaria Action Plan is available for download at: www.rollbackmalaria.org/gmap/
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The RBM Partnership is the global framework to implement coordinated action against malaria. It mobilizes for action and resources and forges consensus among Partners. The Partnership is comprised of more than 200 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.