24 Apr : Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on World Malaria Day, to be observed on 25 April: Last year on World Malaria Day, I issued a call to action to put a stop to malaria deaths by ensuring universal coverage by the end of 2010. The response has been tremendous. To date, we have been able to provide mosquito nets to more than 40 per cent of people at risk of dying from this disease. In many countries, malaria deaths have decreased by two thirds.
These achievements reflect the efforts of malaria-endemic countries and the strength of the partnerships to support them. Government, international institutions, donor nations, foundations, civil society, the private sector and faith-based groups have demonstrated what we can achieve if we come together to defeat a common enemy. Together with my Special Envoy for Malaria, Ray Chambers, and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, these efforts will continue to save lives.
However, we still have much more work to do in providing access to key malaria prevention tools and treatment to those suffering from the disease. We must redouble our efforts to ensure that every person has access to a mosquito net — and that they will use them. If we can maintain current levels of progress, by 2015, there could be nearly zero preventable deaths from malaria. That would provide significant momentum to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
In this time of economic crisis, we must protect investments in global health and not allow this disease to resurge. What has been done with malaria can be achieved with other development goals as well. As we look to the future, we need to build and expand our partnerships to deliver the solutions we know work today. We also need to innovate so we can prevent disease, save lives and enable communities to thrive.
World Malaria Day is more than a commemoration –- it is a time to rally our forces to stop this disease. Together, we can ensure universal coverage, end malaria deaths and provide hope for overcoming many other development challenges facing our world. Let’s count malaria out.