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UN calls for more efforts to curb malaria deaths


19:07, April 25, 2013

NAIROBI, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The UN children's fund, UNCIEF on Thursday called for concerted efforts to prevent malaria deaths and illness, noting that insecticide-treated bed nets are key to control the menace.

In a statement issued in Nairobi to mark the World Malaria Day, UNICEF said there have been impressive gains and successes built on strong partnerships and the generous contributions of many donors which could be quickly lost if sustained focus and investments are not maintained.

"It is unacceptable that every day more than 1,500 children still die from a preventable and curable disease," Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF's Director of Programs said in the statement.

"We must distribute insecticide-treated nets to all who need them, provide timely testing for children and appropriate medicine when they are infected."

According to UNICEF, malaria still kills 660,000 people every year, most of them African children.

Universal coverage of insecticide-treated bed nets is key in making gains against malaria – one of the largest killers of children in the world in the world.

UNICEF in collaboration with its partners, champions and supports governments to undertake the free distribution of insecticide-treated nets – especially long-lasting insecticidal nets.

Kenya's health stakeholders have called for integrated vector management ahead of the World Malaria Day to be celebrated across the world on April 24.

The Kenya has made positive steps in malaria control with hospital admissions falling by more than half in high-risk districts.

"For children under five, the mortality rates have also fallen by 44 percent based on statistics captured between 1999 and 2006," Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation Head of Division of Malaria Control Dr. David Soti said last week.

It is estimated that enough nets were delivered over the last decade to cover 80 percent of requirements in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2004, there were just 5.6 million bed nets in sub-Saharan Africa.

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