Africa Malaria Day
Tunis, 25 April 2006 – Malaria continues to represent a major problem in Africa particularly south of the Sahara. It is estimated that 300 million cases of Malaria occur every year in Africa resulting in up to 2 million deaths, mostly among young children.
Malaria is a major underlying barrier to economic development in Africa, inhibiting regional gross domestic product by as much as $12 billion annually. In Africa, key factors for rising morbidity and mortality from Malaria include fragile health systems, weak infrastructure, shortfall in the health workforce, widespread resistance to conventional antiMalarial medications and the limited access to a new group of more effective antiMalarial medications, namely the Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs).
The African Development Bank along with people across Africa and the world commemorate Africa Malaria Day on and around April 25. The Bank’s Malaria Strategy and operational guidelines developed in 2002 underscore the institutional priority accorded to fighting Malaria. Over the past ten years, the Bank invested approximately USD 380 million to fight malaria directly. Most of the Bank financed health projects aim at strengthening health infrastructure which is a main cornerstone to alleviating the burden of diseases including Malaria. Of these health projects approximately USD 46.5 million had gone to malaria related prevention and control activities within the health sector.
The Bank is also increasingly including Malaria related components in its agricultural, water and sanitation, infrastructure and education sector projects. The value of Bank funding of Malaria related components in sectors other than the health sector over the past decade is approximately USD 30 million, thus emphasizing the importance of a multisectoral approach to address the complexities of Malaria and its impact.
The Bank is firmly committed to working hand in hand with African Governments and development partners to address all pertinent issues related to Malaria control in a holistic and multisectoral approach.