Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB are all preventable and treatable diseases.
As of the end of 2012, 4.2 million people received treatment for HIV/AIDS, 9.7 million new cases of TB are being treated, 310 million nets have been distributed to protect families from Malaria.
What can we do in 2018?
Mosquitoes, those pesky insects that feed on human blood, are more than just a nuisance; they also carry the parasite that causes malaria – passing it on through their night-time bites. Symptoms usually appear 9-14 days after infection and include fever, shivering, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms.
Malaria is one of the most serious health threats to communities in developing countries, and affects nearly half of the world’s population. Malaria kills a child every 45 seconds and over 90% of malaria deaths are in Africa. Malaria is a serious illness that severely undermines individuals’ ability to work and live a normal life and cases of malaria drain the economies of countries affected – but better funding for malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment could save thousands of lives every year.
Fighting malaria requires financing for insecticide treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying. The percentage of households owning at least one malaria net in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to have risen from 3 percent in 2000 to 50 percent in 2011 while the percentage of people protected by indoor spraying rose from less than 5 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2010.
Globally, TB is a leading cause of death from an infectious disease worldwide, second only to AIDS. It is also known as a disease of poverty, affecting mainly young adults in their most productive years, with two-thirds of cases estimated to occur among people aged 15-59. Each year it kills nearly 2 million people, mostly in Africa and Asia.
Although TB remains a major public health concern, and the rise in multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant TB is alarming, there are some signs of progress. New diagnostic tools for detection have recently been introduced. Countries are making progress in implementing and scaling up TB/HIV collaborative activities, and research and development continues on new diagnostics, new drugs and new vaccines.
At the end of 2011, an estimated 34 million people were living with HIV worldwide, with two-thirds of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. The number of people dying of AIDS-related causes fell to 1.7 million in 2011, down from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s; in 2012 alone 700,000 AIDS related deaths were averted.
However, HIV continues to spread – in 2011, 2.5 million people were newly infected with HIV. Although it is also important to note that 25 countries have seen their numbers of new infections drop by 50 percent or more, and that half of the infections averted worldwide were among new-borns, demonstrating that it is possible to eliminate new infections in children.
The increase in coverage of antiretroviral treatment helps slow new infections. Studies have shown that putting a person on treatment as soon as they are diagnosed can reduce the risk of transmission of the virus by up to 90 percent.