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WHO Study Shows Malaria Deaths Decreased Globally

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(GENEVA) -- Malaria deaths have decreased worldwide says a new report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to the World Malaria Report 2011, mortality rates from malaria have fallen by 25 percent since 2000. The fall can be attributed to campaigns including promoting the use of bed nets and the distribution of malaria drugs.

"We are making significant progress in battling a major public health problem. Coverage of at-risk populations with malaria prevention and control measures increased again in 2010, and resulted in a further decline in estimated malaria cases and deaths," said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

African countries accounted for 81 percent of 216 million cases of malaria recorded in 2010 and 86 percent of cases affected children under 5 years of age.

Despite these gains in the malaria fight, the WHO says projected funding shows a significant decrease which could affect the strides already made in the global fight against the disease.

"We need a fully-resourced Global Fund, new donors, and endemic countries to join forces and address the vast challenges that lie ahead. Millions of bed nets will need replacement in the coming years, and the goal of universal access to diagnostic testing and effective treatment must be realized," said Dr Robert Newman, Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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