ENGLAND: Canterbury issues message for World Malaria Day

April 22, 2010

To mark World Malaria Day, Sunday, April 25, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has for the first time recorded a message to demonstrate his support and to urge others to unite in the fight against malaria. 
 
The video is available here.  Full transcribed text is below.
 
Malaria, Williams says, is a massive yet solvable problem taking the lives of close to one million people every year, mainly women and children in Africa. However it is an entirely preventable disease – every death is needless. 
 
"One of the things that I was taught when I was growing up was that among the greatest achievements of modern science was the identification of where malaria came from, the great steps that have been made to eradicate malaria from the world," says Dr Williams. 
 
"Tragically the challenge of malaria has grown worse not better. Half the world's population is at risk from malaria, about a million people die because of it every year and not surprisingly the cost is highest among those most vulnerable and the youngest."
 
"But we do have the resources to eliminate malaria. The goal has been set for getting rid of malaria deaths by 2015 and it's a goal that can be reached and on this World Malaria Day, its important to remember that goal is attainable … by some very simple means, not only medication but also prevention. In Rwanda and Ethiopia it's halved the fatality rate from malaria."
 
"So today is an opportunity for us to remember what can be done and to put our energy and imagination behind the goal -- the achievable goal, remember -- of eliminating malaria. Let's hope that can be attained, we must do it."
 
World Malaria Day is a key moment for the world to stand together, united in one common action, to fight malaria and end the suffering and death it causes.
 
His message supports the global coalition "United Against Malaria," which aims to raise global awareness and renew worldwide commitment to ending malaria, as well as to increase the use of prevention tools and malaria treatment in Africa.

 


 

Transcript: Message for World Malaria Day 2010
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan D. Williams

One of the things that I was taught when I was growing up was that among the greatest achievements of modern science was the identification of where Malaria came from, the great steps that have been made to eradicate Malaria from the world. That was many years ago and in the intervening years, tragically the challenge of Malaria has grown worse not better. Half the world's population is at risk from malaria, about a million people die because of it every year and not surprisingly the cost is highest among those most vulnerable and the youngest. 
 
But we do have the resources to eliminate Malaria. The goal has been set for getting rid of malaria and on this world malaria day it's important to remember that goal. It is attainable by some very simple means, not only medication but also prevention. In Rwanda and Ethiopia it's halved the fatality rate from malaria. 
 
So today is an opportunity for us to remember what can be done and to put our energy and imagination behind the goal, the achievable goal remember, of eliminating Malaria. Let's hope that can be attained, we must do it. 
 
About malaria:
 
With just one bite, a mosquito can transmit the deadly parasite, which enters the liver and starts multiplying. It then begins to infect red blood cells, essential for the uptake of oxygen. After the cells are infected, they burst, infecting surrounding cells. Victims experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and vomiting. 
 
Without treatment, this process can disrupt the blood supply to vital organs like the brain, resulting in death in a high number of cases. If the victim survives, they may suffer permanent brain damage and be more susceptible to malaria in future. 
 
Children and pregnant mothers are those most vulnerable to the disease.
 
How do we stop it? Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. We need to: 
 
•     blanket Africa in bed nets
•     make good medicines widely available
•     bug-spray likely breeding areas
•     educate potential victims about the dangers, symptoms and treatment
•     work towards a vaccine
 
About World Malaria Day:
 
World Malaria Day, the 25th April, is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world. This year's World Malaria Day marks a particularly critical moment in time as the international malaria community has less than a year to meet the 2010 targets of delivering effective and affordable protection and treatment to all people at risk of malaria, as called for by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. 
 
£5 will buy, deliver and hang a bed net to cover a mother and baby, or two children in Africa, for up to five years. 
 
About United Against Malaria:
 
United Against Malaria aims to raise global awareness and renew worldwide commitment to ending malaria, as well as increase the use of prevention tools and malaria treatment in Africa. All donations to United Against Malaria go to the United Nations Foundation's fund for AIDS, TB, and Malaria to support malaria prevention projects in Africa through the Global Fund.
 
Success is within our grasp: In addition to more developed countries like the U.S., where malaria was eradicated in 1951, several African countries, such as Eritrea, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe and Zambia have demonstrated that it is possible to significantly reduce malaria-related morbidity and mortality. 
 
United Against Malaria was announced in the UK in September with further launches following in the US and Africa in mid-November. In the UK, malaria is an issue of increasing importance and prominence on both public and political agendas. The British government is the second largest donor in terms of funding the fight against malaria and during the general election campaign United Against Malaria is calling on all political parties to step up their commitments to combat the disease.
 
Support for United Against Malaria is gaining momentum with commitments announced from players including US football team captain Landon Donovan and clubs LA Galaxy and FC Barcelona. Bono, Melinda Gates and actress Ashley Judd have also pledged their support. To find out more and sign up your support go to: www.unitedagainstmalaria.org