As part of its efforts to fight malaria, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria said it has distributed two billion Insecticides Treated Mosquito Nets (ITNs) worldwide since 2004.
The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the largest global platform for coordinated action against malaria.
In a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES, the RBM partnership said the development and scale up of these nets are responsible for 68 per cent of the malaria cases prevented in Africa since 2000.
It also said this contributed to global efforts that saved more than 7 million lives and prevented more than 1 billion malaria cases.
According to the latest World Malaria Report, the number of pregnant women and children under five, in sub-Saharan Africa, who slept under an insecticide-treated net more than doubles up from 26 per cent to 61 per cent between 2010 and 2018.
The statement indicates that “Between 2006 and 2017, the mosquito net market increased fivefold with prices falling from approximately $4.50 to $2, greatly increasing value for money and significantly expanding net coverage from 5.5 million in 2004 to almost 200 million in 2018.”
Abdourahmane Diallo, CEO, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, said the milestone is as a result of global partnership and sustained commitment.
“The milestone of delivering 2 billion life-saving nets is a hallmark example of effective global partnership and sustained commitment over the past two decades.
“As we enter a new decade, we must now step up action to meet the ambitious global targets of further reducing malaria deaths and cases significantly by 2030.” he said.
He called for more commitment to ensure more people are reached with lifesaving mosquito nets.
“Political commitment and engagement from all levels of society will be crucial to ensure we reach those most vulnerable – pregnant women and children under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa – who still suffer from malaria with life-saving mosquito nets.
“We need to continue investing in developing, testing and scaling up nets with new insecticides and active ingredients to stay ahead of the evolving mosquito,” he said.
The Director General, World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, said “Insecticide-treated nets have saved lives, prevented suffering and brought us 2 billion steps closer to our vision of a malaria-free world.
“With country leadership and global partnership, they will continue to play a vital role in fulfilling that vision.”
The RBM partnership also released a new video, which highlights the global collaboration it took to boost funding, pioneer, produce, and deliver the insecticide-treated mosquito nets to millions of families around the world living at risk of malaria, a preventable disease that kills a child every two minutes.
The recently released World Malaria Report 2019 showed that though there was a dip in the number of malaria cases reported in 2018, as compared to the previous year, there is a need for more efforts and funds to fight the disease.
According to the report, 228 million malaria cases were reported in 2018, which is marginally lower than the number of cases in 2017 (231 million).
Nigeria, 18 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and India accounted for about 85 per cent of the global burden of the disease in 2018.
The prevalence of malaria remains a major concern among countries, international health organisations and donor partners, who have been working tirelessly to eliminate the disease.