Highlights from the 2008 UN Summit

An increase of $3 billion in funding towards eliminating malaria was announced at the UN Summit held held on September 25 in New York. Here are some links and highlights from the Summit’s key reports:

The UN released the 2008 World Malaria Report. According to a recent article in AllAfrica.com:

The report finds that recent increases in malaria funding were beginning to translate into coverage of key malaria interventions, especially bednets, by 2006… The percentage of children protected by insecticide-treated nets increased almost eightfold, from 3 per cent in 2001 to 23 per cent in 2006 in the 18 African countries where surveys were held…

However, much more work remains to be done; in Africa, only 125 million people were protected by bednets in 2007, while 650 million are still at risk, notes the report. “If the availability of bednets and other key interventions can be increased, lives can be saved,” said Unicef executive director Ann M. Veneman.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership also released the Global Malaria Action Plan labelled as the first-ever single comprehensive blueprint for global malaria control and elimination. According to the report:

Africa remains the region with the highest burden of malaria cases and deaths in the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 365 million cases occurred in 2002 and 963 thousand deaths in 2000, equating to 71% of worldwide cases and 85.7% of worldwide deaths. Almost 1 out of 5 deaths of children under 5 in Africa is due to malaria.

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