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Strong global partnerships and increased investments are driving significant reductions in deaths caused by malaria, according to a new report from the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership.

Deaths caused by malaria have dropped 38 percent in the past ten years, with 43 countries cutting the number of malaria cases in half. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the lives of more than 1.1 million children have been saved. Such achievements surpass goals set more than a decade ago and are helping pave the way toward ending transmission of the disease.

These results are showcased in A Decade of Partnership and Results, the seventh report in the Roll Back Malaria Progress & Impact series. The report was co-authored by Dr. Richard Steketee of PATH, along with UNICEF, the World Health Organization Global Malaria Programme, Tulane University, and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

Investments in malaria paying off

Other findings highlighted in the report:

  • Malaria control has proven to be a sound investment. Global funding for fighting the disease has increased fifteenfold, leading to the distribution of millions of insecticide-treated bednets, home-spraying campaigns, and supplies of medicines and diagnostics that are reaching even the most rural areas.
  • Malaria-endemic countries and their partners have shown remarkable leadership and engagement, using vastly improved policies, strategies, and interventions and involving all sectors of society.
  • The RBM Partnership has proven to be a promising model for development, showing that broad-based, issue-specific collaboration can lead to impressive results in a relatively short time.

Despite these gains, successfully controlling malaria will require constant vigilance, according to the report’s authors. Sustained or increased funding and continued improvements in the delivery of lifesaving tools are critical to maintain progress. 

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Posted on September 12, 2011.