By Ndidi Chukwu
A WHO and UNICEF report on MDG for Malaria have said, 89% of all malaria cases and 91% of deaths recorded this year (2015) were in sub-Saharan Africa. The report also indicates that the MDG target for Malaria has been met. It said 1 in 4 children in Sub-Saharan Africa still lives in a household with no Insecticide Treated Bed nets (ITN) and no protection provided by indoor residual spraying. In 2015, only an estimated 13% of children with a fever in sub-Saharan Africa received an ACT.
The MDG projection was that of the 106 countries and territories with malaria transmission in 2000, 102 are projected to reverse the incidence of malaria by the end of 2015. “between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of children under 5 sleeping under an ITN in sub-Saharan Africa increased from less than 2% to an estimated 68%” said the report.
Children under 5 account for more than two-thirds of all deaths associated with malaria. Between 2000 and 2015, the under 5 malaria death rate fell by 65% or an estimated 5.9 million child lives saved.
“Malaria kills mostly young children, especially those living in the poorest and most remote places. So the best way to celebrate global progress in the fight against it is to recommit ourselves to reaching and treating them,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We know how to prevent and treat malaria. Since we can do it, we must.”
The report “Achieving the Malaria MDG target” – shows that the Malaria MDG target to “have halted and begun to reverse the incidence” of Malaria by 2015, has been met “convincingly”, with new malaria cases dropping by 37% in 15 years.
“Global malaria control is one of the great public health success stories of the past 15 years,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “It’s a sign that our strategies are on target, and that we can beat this ancient killer, which still claims hundreds of thousands of lives, mostly children, each year.”
An increasing number of countries are on the verge of eliminating malaria. In 2014, 13 countries reported zero cases of the disease and 6 countries reported fewer than 10 cases. The fastest decreases were seen in the Caucasus and Central Asia, which reported zero cases in 2014, and in Eastern Asia.