African Communities Call On G8 To Honor Their Commitment To Fight Malaria

MAMA | 13 Jun 2007
Medical News Today
Two years ago, G8 leaders representing Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, and the USA, gathered at Gleneagles, Scotland, and promised unprecedented relief for the developing world, primarily Africa.

Although funding for the fight against malaria has increased, more than a million people die annually from the preventable, treatable disease, and most are children in sub-Saharan Africa.

The newly-formed MAMA Africa (Mobilizing Against Malaria Across Africa) movement calls on G8 leaders to take further action and help stop the needless deaths. As a network that unites national anti-malaria coalitions from Ethiopia, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia, the MAMA Africa movement states that funding alone is not enough to win the ongoing struggle against malaria.

"Despite increased resources for malaria programs, community-level access to prevention tools and treatment services continues to be completely inadequate," said Yvonne Chaka Chaka, President and founder of the Princess of Africa Foundation, speaking in support of the MAMA Africa movement.

While major international donors have boosted funding for long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets and medications, these vital resources often fail to reach the poor and marginalized communities who need them most, due to inefficient delivery systems and lack of human resources at the local level.

If malaria funding is appropriately allocated to include country-level training and capacity building, the MAMA Africa movement believes current supply-chain failures can be averted, and more lives will be saved.

Resources must also address the actual needs of African communities, such as education of rural health workers and caregivers, bed net usage training, and the importance of seeking timely treatment and using the correct medication.

"Malaria is an enormous, deadly burden in Africa, but one that can be fought successfully," said Chaka Chaka. "Together, we ask the G8 leaders to renew their commitment to help save lives in Africa by fighting malaria and to ensure that resources are allocated appropriately to defeat the disease at every level."