Today is World Malaria Day. On this day
many people reflect on the disease that is one of the greatest threats to
resurged with a vengeance. Half the world's population is at risk of malaria
infection. Approximately 250 million people get sick with malaria each year and
nearly a million individuals die -- mostly young children and pregnant women in
Craig Jaggers is the policy advisor for health and
education at the World Vision International. From Washington, he told VOA’s
Douglas Mpuga that although malaria is both preventable and curable, the
disease is still a pain to many because people do not have simple and easy solutions.
“I think the reality is that many people living in Africa and around the world -
the simple and easy solutions are simply inaccessible to them. Part of that is a challenge of resources
said the real challenge is that there isn’t enough support to get those vital resources
and interventions that people need at the household and community level.
said he is encouraged by the commitments made by African countries, citing the
Abuja declaration (The African Summit on Roll Back
Malaria was held in Abuja, Nigeria on the 25th of April 2000. It reflected a
real convergence of political momentum, institutional synergy and technical
consensus on malaria (and, to some extent, other infectious diseases issues).
“There are more resources that are
certainly needed but we have seen very great progress in making sure the national malaria
control plans and their activities within the country are doing a good job.”
noted the opportunity to work with community-based and faith-based groups, to rely
on those local networks, to make sure that all those important and simple
solutions get to the household level where the real change is going to happen.
added that there are things that are being done to control the spread of
malaria such as the use of insecticides. “Part of the challenge is DDT has an
environmental concern, but what we do know is that the insecticides that they are using currently at the household
level are very effective.”
added, “The international community is doing a lot and we are very encouraged
by the progress being shown. We have several billions of dollars that have been committed
and followed through. Certainly there is
more work to be done; more resources are needed – about $6 billion.”
said more resources would make it possible to provide all the necessary services
and interventions for malaria. “Things like mosquito treated nets, indoor
spraying, and anti-malaria drugs for pregnant women and children.”
said great progress is happening. “We are very encouraged with what we're seeing - dramatic reductions in
morbidity and mortality and death and diseases in places like Rwanda and Zambia.
The take home message in essence is that great progress is
being achieved but much more needs to be done.”