This week we have seen leaders of Commonwealth countries arrive in Britain for the Malaria Summit in London.
The UK has been always at the centre of the global fight against malaria due to the fact that once upon a time, during the Industrial Revolution in Europe, Britain, France, Germany and other European countries searched for new territories where they could acquire raw materials for their growing industries as well as to look for new markets. During this time, there was a scramble for new countries which Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy colonised for their benefit.
The former British colonies now form The Commonwealth due to their relationship with Britain. Note that Rwanda and Mozambique joined without previous ties.
Many countries in The Commonwealth have malaria, over 90%, so it was a British scientist, Sir Ronald Ross, who first discovered the link between mosquitoes and the world’s deadliest disease 120 years ago. Through science, innovation and political leadership, the UK has always been at the forefront of efforts to combat it.
The Malaria Summit in London, held during The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, aims to highlight the stalled progress in fighting the disease, which has been in existence for millions of years. It was organised by non-profit organisation Malaria No More in conjunction with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by the British Prime Minister, Theresa May.
Philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who attended the summit, led the worldwide efforts to eradicate the disease and urged Commonwealth leaders to play their part. The Gates Foundation pledged $1 billion through to 2023 to fund malaria research and development in an effort to reduce deaths across The Commonwealth.
At the Summit in London, Bill Gates said this to the audience:
”I don’t use superlatives lightly, but thanks to the commitment and strategic vision of so many of you in the audience, progress against malaria has been one of the most impressive successes in global health in this generation”
He also discussed the increase in malaria funding:
“Malaria funding has increased by 1,000 percent. This increase has financed the massive delivery of interventions—highly effective artemisinin combination therapies, rapid diagnostic tests, indoor residual spraying, and especially insecticide-treated bed nets. These innovations, along with improved case management, have saved almost 7 million lives”
Six out of the 10 countries most affected by malaria are members of the Commonwealth: Nigeria, India, Mozambique, Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania, they account for nearly half – 99 million – of the total number of cases in 2016.
Health experts warn that the disease’s stubbornness is due to the mosquito that transmits it and the parasite that causes it to develop resistance to sprays and drugs. It is also due to the stagnant global funding for malaria since 2010. Climate change and conflict can also aggravate malaria outbreaks.
As the meeting was taking place, the Fight Malaria Ground Crew, in conjunction with Roperfree, were distributing educational material and demonstrating how to apply Roperfree mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites.
Now that the world is united to intensify the battle against malaria, we have a duty to implement what has been suggested.
Roperfree mosquito repellents can be purchased online at www.fightmalaria.co.uk/roperfree
In Kampala can be purchased:
- Frecca Pharmacy –Wandegeya,
- WestLink Pharmacy-Quality Village Mall-Lubowa
- Roper fashions –Kampala Plaza on Kampala Road
- Kasumba Squall Mall
We are looking forward to celebrating the World Maria Day on April 25, 2018