By Jim Fair
While the world is in the midst of a battle with the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis on April 26, 2020, reminded those listening to his Regina Caeli address not to forget the continuing effort to eradicate malaria.
“We must continue the effort to prevent and cure malaria, which threatens millions of persons in many countries,” the Holy Father said in his remarks broadcast from the Papal Library.
The World Health Organization observed World Malaria Day 2020, yesterday. Between 2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40% worldwide, from an estimated 743 000 to 446 000.
But in recent years, progress has ground to a standstill. According to WHO’s World malaria report 2019, there were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period 2014 to 2018. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2018 as the year before.
The WHO said urgent action is needed to get back on track, and ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria. The “Zero malaria” campaign engages all members of society: political leaders who control government policy decisions and budgets; private sector companies that will benefit from a malaria-free workforce; and communities affected by malaria, whose buy-in and ownership of malaria control interventions is critical to success. Join us in our shared effort to get to zero malaria.
Read More: Vatican News