The MDGs have a deliberate synergy across targets which means progress in one will impact on progress in others, and malaria is no exception. Tackling malaria will have a positive impact on achieving the other MDGs, especially those relating to health, education and poverty levels.
Sunil Mehra, Executive Director of the Malaria Consortium, the UK lead partner of the European Alliance Against Malaria, said: "The world is increasingly recognizing the value malaria control has on global poverty reduction efforts. We firmly believe if the MDGs are to be met malaria must be tackled head-on and in coordination with other health initiatives focused on helping to lift countries out of poverty."
The Alliance calls on both donor and developing countries to continue to strengthen commitment to fighting malaria through health systems strengthening and malaria-specific interventions.
"Without coordinated and fully resourced initiatives to tackle malaria in those countries worst affected, the international community's efforts to reduce global poverty will be seriously compromised."
Addressing malaria will have a positive impact on meeting many of the MDGs, especially in health, education and poverty levels;
Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1)
Malaria can be an economic disaster reducing opportunities for economic growth and impacting on household income. Controlling malaria will directly help countries and communities lift themselves out of extreme and chronic poverty.
Achieve universal primary education (MDGs 2)
Tackling malaria will have a positive effect on reaching universal primary education targets as the disease is a leading cause of illness and absenteeism in both children and teachers. Episodes of malaria can also impair cognitive development resulting in lower completion of primary school studies and lower returns to education.
Reduce child mortality (Goal 4)
With malaria the leading cause of child mortality in Africa, accounting for 20 percent of all childhood deaths - one in every five - scaling up malaria control programmes will have significant benefits. The proper use of a $10 bed net has, for example, been shown to reduce under-five mortality by up to 25 per cent[i].
Improve maternal health (Goal 5)
Malaria interventions have a clear and direct role to play in reducing maternal mortality as pregnant women and their unborn children are particularly vulnerable to malaria. The disease is four times more likely to strike pregnant women than other adults and has life-threatening implications for both mother and child.
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6)
Malaria control will reduce morbidity and mortality caused not only by malaria but also by other diseases. Strengthening health systems is a key part of tackling these diseases of poverty, as well as improving health generally.
Further information contact Delphine Valette, International Advocacy Coordinator Malaria Consortium: [email protected]
The European Alliance Against Malaria is a committed group of civil society organizations from Brussels, France, Germany, Spain and the UK working for a malaria-free world. Focused on European action in a global context, we aim through advocacy to increase funding and improve programming for malaria, demanding concrete and resolute action as part of global efforts to reduce poverty and meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).