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article imageUN chief launches drive to wipe out malaria in Africa

By Owen Weldon     Apr 26, 2008 in World
On Friday UN chief Ban Ki-moon kicked off a campaign aimed at eliminating malaria in Africa by the end of 2010 with plans that include delivering 250-million insecticide-treated beds.
Moon spoke from Vienna and marked the first world malaria day and said that he was moving forward with strong force to achieve an achievable vision aimed at ending malaria deaths by the end of 2010.
He also said that they have less than 1,000 days to accomplish this mission but it should not be difficult because they have the resources and the know-how.
The delivery of 250 million insecticide-treated bed will kick off the initiative and they will reach the parts of the African continent where the disease is endemic. The project will cost over one billion dollars.
Ann Veneman is the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund and she says that there is no reason that malaria still kills more than one million people every single year. Over eighty-percent of victims live in sub-Saharan Africa and the majority of victims are children and infants.
Every single day more than 2,000 young lives are taken because of the disease that is carried by mosquito-borne parasites. The disease brings on debilitating fever, headache and vomiting.
Veneman made it a point to make sure people knew that the disease was curable and preventable and that the disease could be under control with the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and other methods such as indoor residual spraying, which is a simply and easy procedure.
The country of Rwanda has reduced malaria cases by 64 percent and deaths by 66 percent is kids under five in less than three years. Ethiopia also had some impressive numbers, 60 percent for the death toll, in the same time period.
The two countries followed a strategy that focused on prevention and treatment and also used insecticide-treated bed nets and artmisinin based therapies.
The government has sought out help and aggressively asked for international funding for a project. The project called for the distribution of 20 million bed nets in three years and now they are receiving help from the World Bank and the Global Fund.
It is about time that they receive help. It is such an easy disease to prevent and it is a shame that it has claimed so many young lives and nothing has been done to stop it until now.
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