Malaria is a devastating global public health problem accounting for 300 to 500 million cases per year resulting in well over 1,000,000 deaths. Ninety per cent (90%) of the malaria mortality occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, and almost all the deaths are children under five years of age.
In response to the increasing malaria burden and the opportunities presented by new tools, the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership1 was launched in 1998, with the aim of reducing the malaria burden by at least 50% by the year 2010. In 2000, African heads of state committed to implement WHO’s key malaria control interventions2 and to meet specified targets to reduce malaria disease. Insecticide treated bednets (ITNs) are a low-cost and highly effective way of reducing malaria particularly among pregnant women and children under 5 years who sleep under them. One Abuja target3 aims at raising ITN usage levels from less than 20% in 2000 to >60% by 2005. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) was established in 2002, giving malaria-endemic countries access to additional external funding for malaria control.
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