[GLOBAL HEALTH] Childhood Malaria Declines, More Work to Be Done

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Early childhood deaths due to malaria are in rapid decline, eight years after a U.S. campaign against the disease began in 15 high-risk countries. Figures from the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) show that early childhood deaths are down by 16 percent in Malawi to as much as 50 percent in Rwanda.

“Since PMI’s launch in 2005, impressive gains in malaria control have been documented in PMI focus countries,” according to the findings released by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in recognition of World Malaria Day April 25.

“Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria” is the 2013 rallying cry for the community of malaria fighters worldwide, which includes USAID, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the U.K. Department for International Development, UNICEF and many nongovernmental organizations.

“It is unacceptable that every day more than 1,500 children still die from a preventable and curable disease,” said Nicholas Alipui, UNICEF’s director of programs. “We must distribute insecticide-treated nets to all who need them, provide timely testing for children and appropriate medicine when they are infected.”

Bed nets protect sleeping people from biting mosquitoes, which transmit the disease-causing parasite to humans. Fewer than 5.6 million people in sub-Saharan Africa slept under bed nets in 2005, but now more than 140 million sleep with nets, UNICEF reports, due to the efforts of many contributing nations and organizations.

The President’s Malaria Initiative has distributed more than 62 million bed nets since 2006, and helped other donors distribute almost 13.5 million bed protectors.

WHO estimates that malaria caused 219 million cases of disease in 2010, leading to 660,000 deaths. But in the almost 10-year accelerated campaign against malaria, it is estimated that 1.1 million lives have been saved from premature death.

The tropical regions where the parasite-carrying mosquito is a health threat are home to 3.3 billion people. The new USAID report says that burden of illness accounts for 30 to 40 percent of outpatient visits and hospital admissions. Easing that case load “enables overstretched health workers to concentrate on managing other childhood illnesses,” the report says.

USAID documents that the U.S. malaria program has contributed to a sharp decline in childhood deaths in a number of sub-Saharan countries:

• 50 percent reduction in Rwanda.

• 50 percent in Senegal.

• 37 percent in Mozambique.

• 36 percent in Kenya.

WHO reports that an estimated 91 percent of malaria deaths in 2010 were in Africa, followed by Southeast Asia with 6 percent. Worldwide, 86 percent of malaria deaths were in children.

The risk of malaria is declining and more children are surviving, but a long-term malaria threat still lurks in the future. A strain of the malaria parasite has appeared in some areas with resistance to what have been the most effective medicines to fight them. Cases caused by the resistant strain require more expensive, less accessible medicines to cure a patient.

And some fear that the parasite may ultimately become resistant to everything that doctors currently have in the medicine cabinet.

Read more about the impact, biology, and research: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/Malaria/Pages/default.aspx
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Heartfelt “Thank You” & Holiday Blessings to You on Behalf of the LiveSTRONG Foundation

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Dear Friends and Family,

As the holiday season gains momentum, I wanted to take the time to say, “Thank you.” It is only because of you, the friends and family of the Foundation, that we can continue our work each and every day. And as the end of the year approaches, we’re reflecting on our accomplishments and looking forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring.

Our CEO, Doug Ulman, has recorded a special message I would like to share with you:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=48pAxy35l8o

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And I would also like to share a message from our Chief Financial Officer, Greg Lee:

While we’ve seen our share of cloudy skies in 2012, our team of partners, volunteers, supporters, and staff have continually placed the needs of the cancer community above all else.  As a result, this was a year of amazing accomplishments.

A Few of Our 2012 Program Highlights:

·         Our Navigation Services Team saved constituents more than $4.5 million in health care and medical costs

·         We distributed 43,017 LIVESTRONG Guidebooks to cancer patients, friends, family, and caregivers along with 142,809 Living after Cancer brochures

·         Impacted 184,420 students and teachers with the LIVESTRONG at School Program

·         Trained 47,763 Healthcare Professionals on Current Cancer practices and trends

·         Added 831,412 new grassroots supporters to the movement; advocates who assist in heightening awareness, and engage in public policy matters impacting the cancer community

A Special Thanks
Our Core Values begin with the statement, “We change the way the world fights cancer.” This is followed by, “We know that we can’t do it alone.”  Our work, our reach, and our impact are only possible because of the great team we have standing alongside us in the fight against cancer.

Thank you to our corporate partners, our more than 140,000 donors, 35,000 purchasers of LIVESTRONG merchandise, 12,750 Team LIVESTRONG participants, our LIVESTRONG Leaders, the LIVESTRONG Board of Directors, Foundation managers and staff, and thank you to Lance Armstrong for the vision and drive to create a foundation that has forever changed the way the world fights cancer.

Our Focus Going Forward 
As we close the books on 2012 and begin the New Year, we remain focused on the highest priorities: advancing patient-centered care, forming and engaging communities, growing and leveraging the LIVESTRONG brand, and ensuring long-term programmatic, financial and operational sustainability.

We are truly fortunate to be where we are; with a world full of opportunity right ahead, with a team of volunteers, supporters, and staff ready to act, and a cancer community that needs our vital help. We are refreshed, focused, and ready to go to work.

Thank you for your continued support.  You are helping to positively impact the lives of so many people facing a cancer diagnosis.

Best wishes for health and happiness in the New Year.

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And if you’re ready now to start planning out your goals for the new year… check out the LiveSTRONG blog on goal-setting!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/62614-set-goals-new-year/