Every minute a child dies needlessly from malaria.
That’s right, every minute. And every single one is an outrage. Every single one represents a death that could have been prevented, treated, or both.
Today is World Malaria Day.
It marks great progress in the fight against malaria. Once endemic in 178 countries including climates like southern Italy, now the disease has been curbed to just 99 countries across the world. How did this happen?
It was possible through a combination of affordable new treatments and the roll out of effective prevention tools like insecticide treated bed nets and indoor sprays. Today a bed net costs just $10 to buy and give out and treatment is only $2 per dose.
Not only this but the development of a rapid ‘pin prick’ diagnostic test which is accurate, easy to use and inexpensive has allowed health care workers in even the most remote of locations to determine if a person’s fever is malaria.
But we aren’t there yet. 650,000 people still die from malaria every year, most of them children under five. This is not the time to become complacent.
The fact is a mosquito bite can kill.
Increased funding is another factor that has been critical in global progress to date but the reality is that now this financial support is waning. The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, which has been responsible for distributing over 310 million bed nets since 2002, now faces a funding shortfall.
Sustaining momentum is critical if we are to see zero malaria deaths by 2015.
A net, a pinprick blood test, and a three-day course of pills – that's all that it takes to prevent and treat malaria. To save a life.
A Robin Hood Tax could raise billions to go towards defeating this killer disease. Find out more from Robin Hood Tax member Action for Global Health.