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On World Malaria Day 2015, April 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for high-level commitment to the vision of a world free of malaria. The theme, set by the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, is Invest in the future: Defeat malaria. This reflects the ambitious goals and targets set out in a draft post-2015 strategy to be presented to the World Health Assembly in May. The new strategy aims to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 90 percent by 2030 from current levels. Four countries have been certified free of malaria in the last decade and the post-2015 strategy sets the goal of eliminating the disease from a further 35 countries by 2030.
While huge gains in the fight against malaria have been made in recent years, the disease still has a devastating impact on people’s health and livelihoods around the world, particularly in Africa, where it kills almost half a million children under 5 each year.
Effective tools to prevent and treat malaria already exist, but more funds are urgently required to make them available to the people who need them and to combat emerging drug and insecticide resistance.
World Malaria Day is a chance to highlight the advances that have already been made in malaria prevention and control, and to commit to continued investment and action to accelerate progress against this deadly disease.