Jan. 30, 2012, 3:37 p.m.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and the new chair of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), writes in a Huffington Post opinion piece about Africa's efforts in the fight against malaria. "Supported by the lessons learned from the decade to 'roll back malaria,' which produced a 33 percent decline in malaria deaths in Africa between 2000 and 2010, 41 African presidents have now signed on to end deaths from the disease in their home countries as part of [ALMA]," she writes. But "[d]espite this encouraging progress, much work remains to be done," she continues. Citing ways malaria affects health and education outcomes, Sirleaf says that "to understand malaria's true impact, consider that the disease can rob individual families in poorer communities of as much as 25 percent of their disposable income. By controlling malaria we eliminate a major obstacle to sustainable economic development and stability in Africa." She adds, "…[W]ith sound policies, genuine leadership, and reliable partnership from the world, I believe Africa can be free of the need for development assistance in a generation" (1/29).