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Global Fund to help put 50 million more bed nets in African homes

06 November 2009

Major upscaling of malaria prevention in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria

Geneva – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced today that it has transferred USD 336 million to Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria to pay for the provision of more than 50 million long-lasting insecticidal nets in the next few months. Together, this will amount to a 2/3 increase of the number of bed nets in Africa through Global Fund supported programmes.

Ninety per cent of malaria deaths occur in Africa. The latest disbursements funds will help pay for a major expansion of malaria prevention efforts. The funds are expected to pay for 26 million long-lasting insecticidal nets in Nigeria, 11 million in Ethiopia, 7.3 million in Uganda, 4.8 million in Tanzania and 1 million in Kenya. This will help these countries move towards universal coverage targets of 80% coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets by 2010.

“These bed nets will help prevent millions of cases of malaria over the next few months alone,” said Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Malaria was a neglected disease when the Global Fund started but we are now at a point where reaching global targets for malaria is no longer fanciful but something that can actually be achieved,” he said.

Each day approximately 2,200 Africans die from malaria, 85 percent are children under 5 years of age. Malaria has been estimated to cost Africa more than US$ 12 billion every year in lost GDP, even though it could be controlled for a fraction of that sum. In countries that have conducted mass distribution of bed nets containing insecticides, deaths from malaria have dropped dramatically in a short period of time.

So far, Global Fund supported programmes have distributed 88 million insecticide treated bed nets worldwide. 68.4 million of these bed nets were distributed in Africa. Long-lasting insecticidal nets, like the ones that will be distributed, are recommended by WHO because they remain effective against malaria-carrying mosquitoes for at least three years.

The Global Fund supports programs which deliver services to hundreds of millions of people. As a result, more than 4 million lives have been saved. Every day, 3,000 deaths are averted. Main results include:

  • 2.3 million people currently on antiretroviral therapy (ARV) for HIV;
  • 5.4 million people on effective tuberculosis (TB) treatment;
  • 88 million insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) distributed to protect families from malaria.
  • 79 million people have been reached with HIV counseling and testing;
  • 537,000 HIV+ pregnant women have been reached with prophylaxis for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT);
  • 110 million people have been reached with community outreach services;
  • 3.7 million orphans have been provided with basic care and support.
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