Malaria targets met but continued commitment needed to end the disease

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A smiling mother stands holding her young boy beneath an insecticide-treated net, in Arusha, Tanzania. File Photo: ©UNICEF/PFPG2014-1191/Hallahan

Global targets to reduce malaria over the past 15 years have not only been met but surpassed, the UN's Roll Back Malaria Partnership reported on Thursday.

Since 2000, more than 6.2 million deaths from the disease have been averted, 97 per cent of which have been among young children.

Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and is life-threatening, but it is preventable and curable.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Combating malaria was one of the aims of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) whose deadline is the end of this year.

More than 100 countries are now free of the disease and at least 55 are on track to reduce cases by 75 per cent.

Most malaria deaths occur in Africa, but the continent has seen malaria mortality among children drop by nearly 70 per cent.

But despite this progress, malaria remains a major cause and consequence of poverty and inequality worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

WHO reports that more than 470,000 people worldwide have died from the disease in 2015, the majority of them African children under five-years-old.

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership says continued commitment will be critical to eliminate malaria by 2030 as part of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1'00"

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