MALARIA : A disease without borders
In May 2007 the World Health Assembly, attended by delegations from all of WHO's 193 Member States, considered the latest malaria reports and observed that global awareness of malaria remains low despite the high death toll and cost of the disease.
The Health Assembly thus resolved that World Malaria Day shall be commemorated annually on 25th April to provide "education and understanding of malaria" and spread information on "year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas." (WHA 60.18)
25 April is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world.World Malaria Day is an opportunity for malaria-free countries to learn about the devastating consequences of the disease and for new donors to join a global partnership against malaria. It is an occasion for research and academia institutions to flag their scientific advances to both experts and the general public. It is chance for countries in affected regions to learn from each other's experiences and back each other efforts. It is an opportunity for international partners, companies and foundations to showcase their results and reflect together on how to scale up what has been proven to work.
Malaria is truly a disease without borders, and has plagued humankind since ancient times and is still putting nearly 40% of the world’s population at risk. Estimates suggest that between 350 and 500 million people are affected every year. In addition, as many as 30,000 visitors to tropical countries are infected annually. The WHO estimates that nearly 60% of the world’s clinical malaria cases occur in Africa, 38% in Asia and 3% in the Americas.
As per WHO reports, about 80% of people living in Asia are at risk of malaria, and the region could experience socio-economic problems if efforts to curb the spread of the disease are not increased. About 2-3 million new malaria cases occur annually in India alone. Nevertheless, India has been able to curb the disease to a considerable extent despite the annual growth rate of 2.1%
M4M works to combat malaria by raising people’s awareness of the disease in Europe and Africa, in order to bring greater resources to bear against the disease. M4M addresses the shortfall in resources, and also recognises the unique role and urgently needed contribution of civil society, including the media, in the global malaria advocacy movement.
The programme aims to establish a common framework for mobilisation and coordination that strengthens the impact of malaria advocacy at global, regional and national levels. It fosters alliances of effective malaria advocates and activists both in the North and in the South and addresses the need for complementarity and magnifying effect of media coverage, policy debate and NGO action, and therefore the role of each of these elements in securing an effective and comprehensive advocacy response to malaria.
By promoting "Coalitions Against Malaria", the programme encourages partnership working and collaboration between all civil society actors not only in their own countries but through North-South joint initiatives in order to increase public and political awareness and support for an effective and sustained response to Malaria at global, national and local levels. By helping partners work together in the developed and developing world, the programme also aims to broaden the partnership among those shaping the response and bring a new focus to the battle against the disease.Note : 25 April has also been commemorated as Africa Malaria Day since 2001, a year after the historic Abuja Declaration was signed by 44 African malaria-endemic countries at the African Malaria Summit.
source : mobilising4malaria.org and rbm.who.int