In light of World Malaria Day (25th April 2012) Crown Agents highlights some of its contributions to global efforts to combat the disease.
The theme of this year's World Malaria Day was 'Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria' with a focus on the critical need for continued investment in malaria control to safeguard the gains that have been made over the past decade to promote health and development in malaria-endemic countries.
Malaria remains one of the world's prolific killers - with about 216 million malaria cases resulting in an estimated 655,000 deaths in 2010, according to WHO. Young children, pregnant women and those infected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are the most vulnerable.
To date, under DFID-funded projects, Crown Agents has supplied, shipped and distributed two million bednets to Ghana; 2.1 million bednets to Nigeria and 537,000 bednets to Zanzibar.
Crown Agents has worked for many years with donors and governments to curb the spread of malaria through procurement, inspection and logistics support on projects worldwide. We support preventative interventions through long-lasting insecticide treated nets, indoor residual spraying and intermittent preventive therapy for pregnant women; early case detection and diagnosis plus prompt treatment and case management with Artemisinin-based combined therapies (ACTs).
Investments in the control of malaria have yielded outstanding results in the past years. In Africa, malaria deaths have been reduced by one third while in 35 out of 53 countries affected by malaria, cases of the disease have been cut by 50%, according to Roll Back Malaria. Yet without proper management, these gains will be quickly reversed.
Development aid needs to continue reaching international malaria programmes to ensure widespread access to life-saving interventions and Crown Agents remains committed to supporting this goal.