Today, the World Health Organization released the World Malaria Report 2015, which reflects historic progress in the global fight against malaria. Since 2000, the mortality rate among children under five fell by 65 percent worldwide and by 71 percent in Africa. I’m thrilled to see such tremendous progress against this deadly disease.
A lot of this progress can be attributed to life-saving bednets distributed across sub-Saharan Africa. By 2014, more than half of the population was protected by nets, compared to less than two percent in 2000.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently declared that the UN’s targets to reverse the incidence of malaria by 2015¬ – as outlined under Millennium Development Goal 6 – have been met and surpassed. This is also reflected in the report. This gives us incredible momentum as we start 2016 and a new set of global goals to end this disease for good.
Our work is still far from complete. There were 438,000 deaths from malaria worldwide this year. Approximately 3.3 billion people are still at risk of malaria.
No child should die from a mosquito bite. Every child deserves the chance to lead a healthy life, which is why we must sustain the gains we’ve made and accelerate efforts to defeat malaria.
I’m proud that since 2006, Nothing But Nets has worked closely with its UN partners to deliver more than nine million nets to families across 30 African countries. We are grateful for the more than 350,000 supporters, partners, and champions across the country and around the world who are raising awareness, funds, and voices to make an impact. Our partners and supporters across the United States are advocating for continued malaria funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the President’s Malaria Initiative, so that they can continue their crucial work with us in the fight against malaria.
Just this year, we announced The Million Nets Pledge, our commitment to delivering over one million life-saving nets to refugees and families displaced by conflict across sub-Saharan Africa. We are already halfway to our goal, thanks to many generous donors and a new partnership with leading bednet manufacturer Sumitomo Chemical Company.
We can’t stop now. Millions of children and their families are counting on us. Together, we can defeat malaria.
You can learn more by reading the report here.