Jan. 14, 2011, 10:02 a.m.
Dec 22, 2010
The New York Times' editorial section featured a piece called, "Comeback Against Malaria," a recount of the progress of recent years and the challenges that the world faces to reach the goal of bringing malaria deaths to near zero by 2015. The Times credits the turnaround from "disarray" in 2005 to the appointment of the United Nations special envoy, support from public and private organizations and a marked increase in financing.
The payoff has been considerable. According to the 2010 World Health Organization World Malaria Report, deaths have decreased from 985,000 to 781,000 per year, and more families are protected by nets, indoor spraying and access to diagnosis and treatment tools.
Yet the challenges persist. According to the editorial:
"...the gains are fragile. Bed nets lose their potency after about three years of washings and will need to be replaced. People need to be educated to use the nets consistently. And efforts to develop an effective vaccine ought to be redoubled. Given the hard economic times, international funding for the antimalaria campaign rose only slightly this year to $1.8 billion, far short of the $6 billion that the W.H.O. says is needed. Rich nations need to do more."
There is a long road ahead, but with determination and global support, the world can---and must---end malaria deaths once and for all.