2010 is an important year. There’s 249 days left until the day set as the target for “The Decade to Roll Back Malaria.”
The plan is that by the end of 2010:
- 80% of people at risk from malaria are using locally appropriate vector control methods such as long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLins), indoor residual spraying (irS) and, in some settings, other environmental and biological measures;
- 80% of malaria patients are diagnosed and treated with effective anti-malarial
- in areas of high transmission, 100% of pregnant women receive intermittent preventive treatment (iPT);
- the global malaria burden is reduced by 50% of the 2000 levels: ~175-250M cases annually and less than 500,000 deaths annually from malaria.
This graph from the Global Malaria Plan shows the projected effects of these interventions on different timelines. Acting quickly will save lives.
What can we, as individuals in the US, do?
Nothing but Nets is one way to contribute. Let major pharmaceutical corporations know you applaud (and expect!) their efforts to lower pricing on malarial drugs. Lastly, let your legislators know you support funding for malaria research and aid.
That last one is hard–right now things are pretty tight in the US for a lot of people. I’m having some serious issues in my life right now.
But I’m still so, so privileged to live in a place with clean water and electricity on demand and little threat of infectious disease (relatively). Don’t forget that even now, as financial times are hard, we still are pretty darn lucky compared to our brothers and sisters in Africa, Asia, and South America struggling with malaria.
What will YOU do today?