Malaria, together with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, is one of the major public health challenges facing development in the world’s poorest countries. The UN Millennium Development Goal 6 calls to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Links to factsheets
No child or adult need die of malaria. For the means, medicines and technology already exist to prevent and treat it, and it is only the political will that is lacking. About $4.2 billion per year are needed to fight malaria, and yet only a third of it is granted yearly. The use of insecticide-treated bed-nets in areas of high transmission can reduce child deaths from all causes by over 20 per cent and malaria illness by 50 per cent.
Malaria is a leading cause of child mortality in Africa. Furthermore, owing to the immunodeficiency experienced by women during pregnancy, pregnant women are 4 times more likely to contract malaria. Approximately 10 000 pregnant women die each year because of malaria, and this is greatest indirect cause of maternal mortality. Malaria suffered by during pregnancy also kills 3 to 8% of newborn babies and affects the weight of up to 14% of newborn babies.
Malaria monopolizes almost half the health services in Africa. It costs up to 40% of poor families’ incomes and needlessly diverts these resources away from treating other diseases and health problems which are less readily preventable and treatable. Fighting against malaria therefore lightens the burden on developing countries’ health systems and households.
There is a direct link between malaria and HIV. For malaria significantly aggravates the condition of HIV-infected people and increases the likelihood that HIV will be transmitted. Moreover both diseases make the other worse and more difficult to treat. In order to reduce the burden of both diseases, health services should therfore provide integrated care.
Key Facts, Figures and Strategies: The Global Malaria Action Plan
- Roll Back Malaria
- Written Parliamentary question, Karl Addicks, German Bundestag, November 2008, Question on funding for Malaria Research.
- Oral question to the Commission: Marie-Arlette Carlotti, ACP-EU JPA, November 2008, "EU against malaria".
- Motion for Resolution: Maria Rosa Fortuny i Torroella, Spanish Parliament, October 2009, “Funding to combat malaria”.
What others have said
- “The world is at a potential turning point in the fight against malaria and we are better placed than ever to tackle the disease by scaling up efforts by using existing tools and proven solutions.”
Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation