World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that the world is beginning to slow down the fight against malaria.
In a recently published report, the agency was warning that the global fight against the deadly disease has stalled and as at now, it needs more political support and massive investments.
WHO officials are particularly concerned about the reduced zeal in fighting malaria in the face of many deaths that continue to occur every year.
“Despite huge progress in reducing malaria cases and deaths between 2000 and 2015, the last two years have witnessed the stalling of global progress,” read the report.
“In the past years, there was commendable progress globally, but we are worried that the historical progress over the last decade is slowly fading away,” said Pedro Alonso, director of the World Health Organization’s malaria program.
Speaking at a conference in Geneva, Mr. Pedro Alonso explained that malaria still accounts for most of the world’s deaths annually, as 400,000 people die from the disease every year.
“The world cannot afford to stop right now. We still have an excess of 400,000 deaths every year and 200 million cases,” he said.
According to the WHO report, its projection of reducing malaria-related deaths by 90 percent by 2030 is likely to flop, as with the current situation, even at the most optimistic scenarios, Africa will still have 11million malaria cases by 2050.
It further stated that the most affected are in Sub-Saharan Africa where 90 percent of the deaths occurred according to WHO’s 2018 data.
Malaria is also most common on the most vulnerable people in the society, the old and the very young. Three out of five children aged below five years are mostly hit and killed by the disease.
According to the report, about 30 billion dollars need to be invested between now and 2030, even just to help reduce fatalities by four million in the 29 worst-hit countries. If this is achieved, then WHO can go back to campaigning for a malaria-free world.
“If we ever have a malaria-free world, that would be the greatest achievement in the public health sector, and we can make it a reality,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.