Sept. 13, 2011, 11:02 a.m.
Worldwide, the number of malaria deaths has "fallen by a fifth over the past decade, reflecting an influx of funds to fight the disease with better drugs and mosquito nets, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) said" in a report (.pdf) released on Monday, Agence France-Presse reports. "In a press release, [RBM] claimed a 38 percent reduction in deaths over the decade, a figure based on world population growth and what would have happened if the mortality trend in 2000 had been maintained to 2009 without anti-malaria intervention," according to the news agency (9/12). "The WHO, which helped set up the RBM partnership, has also said the world can stop malaria deaths by 2015 if massive investment is made to ramp up control measures, but this is seen by some experts as an ambitious target," Reuters writes (Kelland, 9/12).
"Three nations -- Morocco, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates -- have been certified by the [WHO] as malaria-free," the report added, according to AFP (9/12). "Yet despite impressive gains, the RBM report said many people at risk of malaria still did not have good enough access to treatment and prevention options, such as insecticide-treated nets, indoor spraying, proper diagnostic testing, and effective drugs, including drugs to treat and prevent malaria in pregnant women," Reuters notes (9/15).