The leader of Malaria No More, a health campaign organisation, Martin Edlund has said that it is unacceptable that a child dies every minute for lack of a dollar’s-worth of malaria treatment
In an interview with the Daily Nation, he Edlund revealed that a tripartite initiative to fight malaria in children had this month gained momentum with the arrival in Zambia of a second consignment of malaria test and treatment kits.
The organisation and other activists yesterday celebrated the delivery of 400,000 test and treatment kits; Zambia is one of the first African countries to benefit from the Malaria No More campaign launched to reduce malaria infections in Africa.
He explained that the campaign was aimed at reducing malaria infections.
He said the delivery of the kits was a major milestone for Zambia inasmuch in that it was the first African country to embrace the anti-malaria campaign.
Edlund said that there was need to scale-up and accelerate malaria prevention efforts to focus on the most vulnerable populations affected in high malarial prone areas.
He said the anti-malaria campaign had the potential to make malaria the first disease beaten with the help of mobile technology, adding that the Power of One campaign was aimed at addressing the gap through direct donations, thus every dollar donated to the campaign will buy and deliver a treatment to a child diagnosed with malaria.
He said the Malaria No More’s “Power of One Campaign” was aimed at engaging the global public and the world’s most innovative companies to help close the malaria treatment gap in Africa using the latest mobile, social, and e-commerce technologies.
“Every dollar donated will fund a full course of life-saving treatment for a child diagnosed with malaria. The first 200,000 tests and 200,000 treatment courses started to fill Zambia’s testing and treatment gaps this past July, with the goal to ensure every child with malaria is treated between now and the end of 2015,” he explained.
Edlund said it was unacceptable that a child dies every minute for lack of a test and treatment that costs so little, and further urged the world to join the Power of One campaign and to donate and engage their friends in the fight.
And hosting the launch ‘Power Of One’ Malaria treatment campaign in Zambia yesterday, Minister of Health, Dr Joseph Kasonde said that he was delighted that partners were positively responding to assist the health sector in addressing and reducing the gap for malaria testing tools and treatment, in particular the pediatric formulation for children under five years old who were the most affected.
Dr Kasonde said that the coming on board of Malaria No More and other private sector companies was a clear demonstration of the flourishing public-private sector partnership in the country.
However, an additional 200,000 Coartem Dispersible child treatments and some 200,000 SD Bioline rapid diagnostic tests were due to reach Zambia this month, making a total of 400,000 malaria tests and 400,000 malaria treatments the Power of One campaign has delivered to date.
According to reports, it was estimated that over 300 million additional treatments will be needed to treat malaria patients across Africa between now and the end of 2015.