malaria treatment Ghana Shaul Schwarz/Getty Images

A Global Plan to End Malaria

Every year, illnesses that can be treated with medicines, vaccines, or other means kill some two million children worldwide. Malaria is one of the biggest and most stubborn killers – and also one of the most frustrating, because perhaps no disease better epitomizes the world’s failure to coordinate on public-health threats and solutions.

ABU DHABI – No one should die from a preventable disease. Yet preventable diseases kill two million children every year, many of whom are too poor to afford proper treatment. The majority of these deaths are either treatable with existing medicines, or avoidable in the first place.

Malaria, a life-threatening disease transmitted by mosquitos, is one of these illnesses. Less than a century ago, families everywhere – including across North America and Europe – lived in fear of a mosquito bite. Malaria not only took the lives of children and adults; it perpetuated poverty and limited global economic growth, preventing millions from reaching their full potential.

Today, more than 30 countries have eliminated the malaria parasite, and at least ten more are on track to do so by 2020. Despite this, malaria remains a leading cause of death for children under five in Sub-Saharan Africa, taking the life of a child every two minutes. Malaria is also expensive, costing Africa’s economy some $12 billion per year.