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UAE commits to global malaria fight

by Dubai Forum
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The UAE has signed up to work towards eradicating malaria globally by 2030 with the signing of the Kigali Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

In a Tweet, President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said it’s In line with the country’s longstanding commitment to helping those in need, and the UAE will continue to collaborate with international partners in pursuing innovative strategies to accelerate disease eradication efforts.

Global efforts to fight malaria have yielded impressive results. An estimated 10.6 million malaria deaths and 1.7 billion malaria cases were averted from 2000 to 2020. Twenty-six countries reported fewer than 100 indigenous cases of malaria in 2020, up from just 6 countries in 2000. Since 2015, 9 countries have been certified as malaria-free by the WHO Director-General.

There has also been substantial progress in the fight against NTDs. Forty-six countries have eliminated at least one NTD and, between 2015 and 2019, more than 1 billion people were treated every year for one or more NTDs. In the period 2010 to 2020, the number of people requiring an NTD intervention was reduced by 600 million. Cases of African trypanosomiasis have fallen by 90% over the last 10 years, and only 15 cases of Guinea worm disease were reported in 2021 globally, compared to 3.5 million cases in the mid-1980s. 

The global toll of malaria and NTDs remains staggering, however. In 2020 alone, an estimated 627 000 people died of malaria, and there were 241 million new cases of the disease. And despite reaching several important NTD milestones in many countries – including the elimination of transmission of dracunculiasis, onchocerciasis and yaws, and the elimination of human African trypanosomiasis, lymphatic filariasis, rabies and trachoma as public health problems – more than 1.7 billion people still required treatment and care for NTDs in 2020. 

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