Monday, 27 January 2014

UK Aid in Action - Update on Malaria

As a member of the APPG on Malaria and Tropical Disease, I recently received an update about the significant progress being made to reduce malaria worldwide.

I have also spoken with NHS staff locally at A and E about triage and testing locally for those who have been away to Malaria infected areas and who may turn up at hospital concerned about a cold or shivers.

Malaria is the greatest killer disease in human history, threatening over half of the world's population. The current statistics are harrowing – despite the fact that malaria is preventable and curable, it kills one child every minute, causes one half of all preventable school absences in Africa, and costs African economics an estimated £8 billion a year in lost productivity.

Yet, there is reason for optimism. The WHO reported that since 2000, overall malaria deaths have fallen by 45 per cent, and deaths in young children have been halved, saving the lives of over three million youths. The UK has been a significant contributor to the recent progress. Through DfID's Malaria Framework for Results Strategy, in 2010, the UK committed to deliver effective aid investment in malaria until 2015.

However, in order to sustain these improvements and avoid rapid resurgence of the disease, international efforts, especially those of the UK must be sustained. The current Government needs to make a long term commitment to combating malaria with continued funding that furthers research and development efforts and continues to sponsor public-private partnerships.

We have the knowledge, resources, and opportunity to eradicate malaria. The Government must continue to be a proactive member of the international community and to honour our comm
itment to tackling malaria.