News release: World Malaria Day 2008 in the UK - NGOS, BUSINESSES AND TRADE UNIONS UNITE AGAINST MALARIA25 April 2008
The burden of malaria is human and economic and the disease impacts on the vital sectors of society, in particular employment. As a result, the response to malaria must be multi-sectorial and be based on partnerships at all levels of society.
Governments have obligations and have made commitments to fight malaria; but civil society as a whole also has a crucial role in creating an efficient framework for mobilisation and coordination that will strengthen the impact of its action.
Today, NGOs, businesses and trade unions are showing the way towards UK leadership on malaria advocacy by coming together and uniting against the disease.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Malaria is bad enough for those infected and their families. But it also damages whole economies, hit by lower productivity and higher health costs. For trade unionists in Britain, fighting malaria is about solidarity with trade unionists in the developing countries most affected by the disease. Governments in the industrialised countries must build better health services in those countries with more, better paid health workers, and employers in the South need to negotiate workplace malaria policies with their trade unions."
Martha Osamor, President of the Nigerian Organisation of Women and Chair of African Women's Welfare Association said: "Malaria is both a disease of poverty and a cause of poverty. Malaria accounts for 40% of public health expenditure in Africa. I believe that to alleviate poverty we must get rid of malaria. In order to mobilise our members to become advocates, we recognise that connections need to be made between organisations from/representing the south, like ourselves, and stakeholders from the North.This is what we (NOW/AWWA) feel we have achieved by joining with this partnership on World Malaria Day.
Olive Boles, Director, Global Health partnerships, International Business Leaders Forum, commented "IBLF sees more and more businesses recognising the economic impacts of malaria, and keen to find ways they can contribute - through their core business operations, social investment and philanthropic programmes, as well as through policy dialogue and advocacy".
She added "The contribution that different companies can make depends on their particular industry sector. Today we have heard about role of the pharmaceutical sector, but other major employers are also intervening to help, for example by providing education for workers and their families."
Sunil Mehra, Malaria Consortium's Executive Director said: "Today, events are taking place throughout the world, highlighting the dedication and commitment of those working everyday to help the million affected by malaria, and showing that every action, however small it may be, can make a difference. This UK event brings together key stakeholders for the first time and demonstrates a strong willingness to raise awareness."
For IBLF, Amy Shannon - [email protected]
or Adam Murray - [email protected]
, tel + 44 (0) 20 7067 0000
For the Trades Union Congress, Owen Tudor, Head of TUC European Union and International Relations Department, Tel:+44 (0) 20 7467 1325, [email protected]
For the Nigerian Organisation of Women/African Women's Welfare Association, Martha Osamor, President/Chair,020 88081420, [email protected]
For Malaria Consortium, Delphine Valette, International Advocacy Coordinator,020 7549 0218, [email protected]