Roll Back Malaria: a failing global health campaign

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7448.1086 (Published 06 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1086
  1. Gavin Yamey, assistant editor
  1. BMJ Learning, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JR

    Only increased donor support for malaria control can save it

    Roll Back Malaria was launched in 1998 bringing together multilateral, bilateral, nongovernmental, and private organisations. It made a clear pledge—to halve deaths from malaria by 2010. African heads of state endorsed the pledge at a summit in Abuja, Nigeria, in 2000.1 This endorsement was vital because 90% of the one million annual deaths from malaria are in Africa, mostly in young children and pregnant women.2 With just six years to go we have reached the halfway point since the pledge. How is Roll Back Malaria doing?

    A graph distributed at the most recent Roll Back Malaria board meeting in New York, based on data from the World Health Reports 1999-2003, shows that the annual number of deaths worldwide from malaria is higher now than in 1998 (see bmj.com). The Africa Malaria Report 2003, published by Unicef and the World Health Organization, two of the biggest players in Roll Back Malaria, admits that “Roll Back Malaria is acting against a background of increasing malaria burden.”3 This statement is passive, and seems to absolve the campaign of responsibility. …

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