World leaders call for greater coordination among different sectors to combat malaria

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Insecticide-treated bed nets are crucial in the fight against malaria. Photo: IRIN/Wendy Stone

World leaders gathered Tuesday on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly to launch an inclusive approach to fighting malaria, a disease which – despite tremendous advances – still kills an estimated 660,000 each year and poses a major challenge to development.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s Multisectoral Action Framework for Malaria, calls for greater coordinated action among different development sectors to tackle the disease, which exacts its deadliest toll in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Framework identifies actions on the social and environmental determinants of malaria, and urges that current malaria strategies are complemented by a broader development approach, encouraging policymakers and practitioners to increase partnerships between sectors to accelerate both socio-economic development and malaria control.

UNDP Associate Administrator, Rebeca Grynspan said "Malaria is a disease associated with lack of socio-economic development, poverty, marginalization and exploitation," adding, "Each of these dimensions has roots beyond the health sector – so a multi-sectoral response is essential if we are to free the world from the burden of malaria."

The Framework sets out a roadmap toward a more integrated approach to fighting malaria to meet the MDGs and contribute to the next set of development goals after 2015.

President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania said"We are at a critical moment in Africa, where we can either capitalize on the successes of the past years or slide backwards," adding, "To capitalize on our success we need all actors in human development and environmental management to join forces."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’39″

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