Malaria kills one child every 30 seconds. Substantial investments have been made as a result of the United Nations target for universal bed net coverage by December 2010. This has led to major progress in malarial control but gaps remain and there is still an urgent need to increase prevention efforts.
Christian Aid is marking Malaria Awareness Day, April 25th, by committing to placing Malaria control and eradication at the heart of it’s health related work across Africa
‘Half the world is at risk from malaria.’ said John Chettleborough, Christian Aid’s Corporate Partnerships Manager for Africa. ‘It is one of the clearest scandals of poverty in a world in which there are effective and affordable ways to help children and adults avoid infection.’
A staggering 250 million cases of Malaria are recorded each year, resulting in one million deaths. 90 per cent of deaths occur in Africa, mainly in children under five years of age.
Christian Aid currently works with 148 partner organisations addressing HIV issues. Many of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. It now plans to encourage many of the same organisations to also work at combating malaria.
‘Our networks of health based volunteers working on HIV are ideally placed to also tackle malaria. They can increase awareness of Malaria and promote improved prevention and treatment seeking behaviours. They can also support community based testing and treatment, assist in bednet distribution efforts, and, of course, they can ensure that the poor – who are often neglected by health services - are reached.’ said John Chettleborough
Christian Aid has already been working to combat Malaria. Together with its partners it is in the third year of distributing 250,000 long-lasting insecticide-treated nets in Nigeria. A similar programme is in place in Uganda. These nets provide protection from malaria-carrying mosquitoes, especially for children and pregnant women who are particularly vulnerable.
The World Health Organisation’s World Malaria Report 2009 states that in countries that have achieved high coverage of their populations, with bed nets and treatment programmes, recorded cases and deaths due to malaria have fallen by 50%.
Christian Aid has also funded an animation which can be distributed to it’s partners throughout French speaking Africa to educate local communities about Malaria prevention. It can be viewed here;
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Notes to editors:
For more information, or to arrange an interview with John Chettleborough.
Please contact Johanna Rogers on +44 20 75 23 2460 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Mosquito nets save the lives of families, protecting them against the deadly malaria mosquitoes carry. You can buy 3 mosquito nets here:
Find out more on our newly refreshed HIV and poverty-related diseases pages of the Christian Aid website here: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/whatwedo/issues/hiv.aspx
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