I was interested to read in a bulletin update from “Malaria No More” that malaria deaths have fallen by 45% since 2000. This is excellent news given that in 2012 malaria was responsible for causing an estimated 627,000 deaths (according to the World Health Organisation). I dread to think how many deaths malaria caused in 2000 but a reduction by 45% since then is an amazing achievement.
Back in 2011 I asked the then Secretary of State for International Development whether he and his Department would take a particular interest and show particular determination in tackling childhood mortality, particularly in developing countries (of which malaria is a major contributor) to which the Secretary of State replied that he would.
Of course tackling childhood mortality and combating HIV/aids, malaria and other diseases are two of the Millennium Development Goals. DFID also published in 2011 its Malaria Framework for Results Strategy which outlined DFID’s plans to deal with malaria up until 2015. It highlighted the government’s commitment to halve the number of malaria deaths in at least 10 high burden countries by ensuring they have the right mix of good quality prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This pledge by DFID is a significant undertaking and will do much to combat one of the biggest killers in developing countries. I am glad that the UK is taking a strong lead in addressing this important issue.