London, 16 April - This is the message from Ray Chambers, the UN Special envoy for Malaria in an interview with the UN News Centre yesterday.
In the lead up to World Malaria Day on 25th April, Mr Chambers said the most effective way to reach the goal of zero or near-zero deaths by 2015 is to strive to provide mosquito nets to all people who live in malaria-endemic countries by the end of this year. This is a milestone he is hopeful will be reached provided donors continue funding the ‘Counting Malaria Out’ campaign.
“Once we reach that goal we must be ever diligent and vigilant after 2010. We have to keep replacing bed nets and we have to be aware of the malaria parasites developing resistance to the medication or the mosquito developing resistance to the insecticide on the net,” said Mr. Chambers.
“If we stay vigilant, if we accomplish our goal this year, we are predicting zero deaths from or near-zero deaths from malaria by 2015… I believe very strongly and with heartfelt passion that if we keep working all together as hard and as cooperatively as we’ve been working, we will have taken a disease that had become a ‘genocide’ and virtually eliminate deaths from it until a vaccine comes along.
“This is really unprecedented in our lifetimes and it should encourage us with regard to maternal health, child mortality, HIV/AIDS, TB [tuberculosis] and other diseases. I think malaria can stand up as an example of just what progress we can make by all working together,” Mr Chambers added.
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