IFRC


World Malaria Day: Half the world`s population at risk of contracting malaria

Publié: 25 avril 2016

Geneva, 25 April 2016: If the world wants to prevent public health emergencies such as outbreaks of malaria, Zika virus disease, yellow fever and dengue, greater emphasis must be placed on vector control, water and sanitation, and community-based action, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned today, World Malaria Day.

“Malaria is 100 per cent preventable and treatable, yet tragically, more than 438,000 people were killed by the disease in 2015 and in the same year over 214 million new cases of malaria were recorded, said Dr Julie Lyn Hall, IFRC Director of Health.

“Malaria elimination is possible through vector control and early diagnosis and treatment, and yet millions of people are still suffering and dying every year.”

“To save more lives, we will need greater investment in community-led vector control and disease prevention measures, as well as expanding health services beyond facilities and into communities to build the resilience and prospects of people living in poverty, as they are most at risk.

“The current Zika virus public health crisis, and frequent outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever are the most recent reminders that community-based surveillance and action should be prioritized.”

More than 24,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are fighting malaria around the world. In malaria-affected countries, volunteers distribute long-lasting insecticidal nets, conduct training communities how to use them safely, and deliver malaria diagnosis and treatment services at the community level where health facility access is a problem.

Many volunteers and staff face risks while reaching the most vulnerable communities, especially during conflicts or other crises. Marie Line Songuet of the Central African Red Cross was part of an IFRC-supported long-lasting insecticidal net distribution team that was carjacked and held hostage for several hours while on mission. She described “threats, walking in the hot sun for long distances, going without food, sleeping in classrooms, using motorcycles, bicycles and even boats, to the extent of capsizing in a river and losing a volunteer”.

“Being the height of the crisis in our country, I thought about women and children in the camps and bushes, and their exposure to malaria,” she said. “What makes us proud is that we have assisted families to protect themselves against the number one killer disease in our country.”

Following the IFRC/Central African Republic Red Cross malaria intervention, which was supported by the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, 90 per cent of households in the targeted areas had at least one long-lasting insecticidal net and 78 per cent of the population had access to a net. Eighty per cent of the target population and 80 per cent of children aged under five were sleeping under a net.

For further information, please contact: 

In Geneva:

Benoit Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications

Tel: +41 79 213 2413  Email: benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org Twitter: @BenoistC

In Geneva:

Reeni Amin Chua, IFRC senior communications officer

Tel: +41 79 708 6273 Email: reeni.aminchua@ifrc.org

 

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil­lion people each year through its 190 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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La Fédération internationale des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge constitue, avec ses 190 Sociétés nationales membres, le plus vaste réseau humanitaire du monde. En tant que membres du Mouvement international de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge, nous sommes guidés dans notre travail par sept Principes fondamentaux: humanité, impartialité, neutralité, indépendance, volontariat, unité et universalité.