Today, Parliament saw the launch of the most recent WHO and UNICEF report titled, ‘Achieving the Malaria MDG Target: Reversing the Incidence of Malaria 2000 – 2015.’
The report charts the progress towards the Millennium Development Goal target of halting and beginning to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015. Through the progress made over the last 15 years, the global trajectory of the malaria epidemic has been reversed with a dramatic downward trend in the number of new cases and deaths, according to the report. This stands in stark contrast to the situation in 2000 whereby deterioration of health systems, growing resistance to drugs and insecticides, human migration and environmental changes were contributing to a worsening global malaria problem, and consequently human devastation. Since then, some 6.2 million deaths have been prevented, equating to a 60% decrease in malaria deaths globally with a 65% decrease in the deaths of children under 5.
The report makes clear that global malaria control is one of the first great public health success stories of this millennium. There is much to celebrate; however, there is clearly still more work to be done as we look ahead towards the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to be launched later this month.
Commenting, Jeremy Lefroy, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria & NTDs, said: “I am delighted to read of the progress that’s been made towards fighting Malaria over the past 15 years. The report highlights the incredible achievements made by governments, NGO’s, scientists, philanthropists and countless others who have contributed to getting to where we are today. However, we must not become complacent; there is still much to be done before we see this terrible disease completely eradicated.”