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UNICEF Seeks to Intensify Work Against Malaria

Original Article - Post of Zambia

DATELINE: April 27, 2000

BYLINE: By Kennedy Bwalya

Lusaka - UNICEF executive director Carol Bellamy has urged African heads of state to provide the leadership and resources to combat malaria in Africa.

Addressing African government leaders attending the worlds first-ever summit on malaria in Nigeria last Tuesday, Bellamy said theres now effective, affordable and durable interventions to prevent and cure malaria.

"But we cannot deploy the means if the political will is lacking," Bellamy said. According to a UNICEF statement, Bellamy further appealed to governments to abolish taxes and import duties on mosquito nets to make them affordable for poor families. She said priority should focus on providing every child and pregnant woman in Africa with mosquito nets as they remained the most venerable to the disease.

Attending heads of state are expected to endorse the goal of the global Roll Back Malaria (RBM) movement to reduce malaria deaths by half by the year 2010. Bellamy observed that with local participation and focused political will at all levels, leadership on behalf of children was the most effective key to progress in the new millennium, adding that leaders needed not to let the opportunity pass.

RBM was launched in October 1998 by the World Health organisation (WHO), UNICEF, the World Bank and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as key partners.

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