Africa sees progress in reducing malaria, says new UNICEF report

10:13, April 20, 2010      

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African countries have seen progress in cutting malaria, but major efforts are still needed to reach global targets, particularly with the investment in malaria control, warns a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report launched Monday on the progress seen in the deadly disease.

Ahead of World Malaria Day, which is April 25, UNICEF released a joint report with the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, which charts the progress in "counting malaria out" in the report titled, The World Malaria Day 2010: Africa update.

As the 2010 deadline approaches for the UN secretary-general's call to meet universal coverage for anti-malarial intervention, in addition to the UN sponsored "decade to roll back malaria" in sight, the report points out that increased, sustained investment is crucial in achieving this goal.

The report highlighted that out of the nearly 350 million insecticides treated nets for universal coverage, nearly 200 million have been received in African countries between 2007 and 2009.

It noted that countries have adopted more effective treatment strategies in malaria control -- but with a pricey cost in treatment.

Approximately with one-third of the global investment that is needed, country-specific programs are able to save a child's life every three minutes, according to RBM Partnership.

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