New Delhi, Apr. 24 ANI | 6 months ago

In a lead up to World Malaria Day, a conference was organised in New Delhi in order to create awareness among people about the importance of investing in health and more so about the deadly disease of malaria.

The awareness meet was organised to celebrate the successes against the disease in the recent years and encourage a broad, multi-sectoral approach to overcome remaining financial and biological challenges, particularly in Asia-Pacific region.

Rollback Malaria Partnership (RBM) representative at United Nations (New York) and head of External Relations, Herve Verhoosel, stressed upon the importance of investing in health and talked about various facts related to the disease.

"We understand that it is important to invest in health and to invest in malaria, even we don't speak about malaria a lot. In fact, malaria is somewhat a silent killer. A lot of people are sick of it and don't speak much about it. Therefore, it is a silent killer which is something we need to keep in mind and improve it," said Verhoosel.

Professor and Dean and Director of Empower School of Health, Paul Lalvani, said Indian political leadership and industry should get more involved and invest in the fight against malaria.

"If we in India take the global learning and the regional learning, understand some of the risks that are occurring regionally and globally, see where India can play a major role both for India and globally, scale some of our interventions and ensure that there is multi-sectoral collaborations with government, civil society and the private sector, we have a chance to defeat malaria," said Lalvani.

Verhoosel also added that 95 per cent of India's population is residing in malaria-endemic areas and an estimated one million cases are reported by the government each year.

Verhoosel added that in India after the elections whosoever will form the government must invest for malaria eradication and it is necessary that big companies fight against the disease as a part of Corporate Social Responsibility to lower the disease rate.

The conference was jointly organised by RBM, Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance and Empower School of Health to celebrate the success against the disease in recent years.

Lalvani also said that one rupee invested in the national malaria control programme would give a return of almost rupees 20 and that malaria is entirely preventable and treatable disease.

World Malaria Day is commemorated every year on April 25 to recognise efforts made on global scale to control the disease.

Globally, more than three billion people in 106 nations are at risk of malaria.

Apart from African nations, Asia, Latin America, and some parts of Middle East and Europe are also affected.

(Posted on 24-04-2014)

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