Jeremy Lefroy MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria has published a new report from the group warning that without continued political and financial support, rapid resurgence of malaria could be a reality undoing the huge progress that has been achieved in the past decade.
Jeremy said: “The post-2015 international development agenda is the dawn of a new era and in light of significant gains in the global fight against malaria, there is an unprecedented development opportunity to tackle malaria once and for all – elimination and then, eradication from the world is the ultimate goal.“
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease which resulted in 207 million cases and 627,000 deaths in 2012. But progress in tackling malaria has been one of the most successful campaigns in specific disease control with deaths amongst children in Sub-Saharan Africa falling by 54% since 2000 - saving 3 million lives.
Whilst there is no magic bullet for malaria prevention, the next five years can be decisive in determining its future. Never before has the global community been better placed to accelerate efforts to conquer malaria and the APPMG supports the ambition to eliminate malaria, and eventually eradicate it around the world – completing the “unfinished business” of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Author of the report, Professor David Schellenberg of the London School for Tropical Hygiene and Medicine (LSTHM) stressed; “The report emphasizes the importance of the UK maintaining finance for malaria controls over the next five years which is absolutely critical to ensure the incredible progress already achieved is not reversed, and to prevent a rapid resurgence of the disease.” History has repeatedly shown us the deadly consequences of prematurely ending anti-malaria programmes - massive malaria resurgence has frequently occurred following the ending of local malaria programmes in Africa, something that without continued political and financial support could happen again.
“I urge the UK Government to remain an ambitious global leader in the fight against malaria – an entirely preventable and treatable disease which has killed more than any other in human history,” said Professor Schellenberg.
Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, former Secretary of State for DFID from 2010-2012 said “The All-Party Group on Malaria & Neglected Tropical Diseases has played a key role in this Parliament in ensuring we make progress on tackling malaria. This final report lays out the achievements that have been made and the challenges we continue to face. We must set clear goals to ensure we maintain our momentum”.