This year, more than ever before, the world has commemorated World Malaria Day on April 25, with great optimism. Optimism borne out of concrete evidence on the ground that the world is fast inching towards its avowed resolve to eradicate malaria - a disease with a staggering profile - from the face of the earth.
Malaria has caught world attention by the sheer weight of its profile. Experts say nine out of ten cases of malaria occur in Africa south of the Sahara. That the disease is a major cause of over one million deaths annually in the same region is worrisome.
Stretched further, experts say 25% of the world's population is at risk of malaria particularly children under 5 years and pregnant women. Also between 300 and 500 million clinical cases of malaria occur per year - a figure which is five times over as many as TB, measles and leprosy cases combined. Also 90% of the world's cases of malaria occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
These are some of the facts that have awakened the world to act NOW or else sub-Saharan countries risk a major devastation.
But the world's commitment to act NOW is overwhelming. First it is captured in the theme chosen for this year's celebration: Counting Malaria Out.
Secondly, the world's football governing body, FIFA and the United Against Malaria (UAM) partnership have seized on this rare opportunity to fly the anti malaria campaign on the wings of the South Africa 2010 football fiesta. The UAM partnership is using football to engage politicians, business leaders and individuals as a template for future action against the disease
Ultimately, however, it is from the scientific front aided by sponsors that the real work of eradication can be measured.
It is therefore appropriate that we pay glowing tribute to Scientists and Researchers for their untiring effort aimed at eradicating malaria. They have sacrificed their lives, time and leisure in their search which is still ongoing until the world is free from this deadly disease.
As the world waits for a malaria vaccine, research work continues in search of more potent drugs to combat malaria. At the same time, a new study is underway on the effectiveness and safety of antimalarials in real life situations.
In this 5th Edition we bring insightful articles including our cover story on finding answers to changing malaria treatment policy and how the World Cup frenzy has hooked up with the campaign against malaria. What has soccer or football to do with malaria? Find the answer as you read this edition of EYES ON MALARIA.
Charity Binka - Managing Editor
Mr. Kwasi Nantwi - Editor
Eunice Menka - Assistant Editor
Elizabeth Gyemfa Anim - Editorial Assistant
Bonuedi Elikplim - Graphic Designer