April 25 is World Malaria Day. Little known by most Canadians, malaria threatens almost half the global population – over three billion people. Hundreds of thousands die each year.
New strains of multi-drug-resistant malaria are emerging and need to be destroyed quickly before they have a chance to spread and create a global catastrophe.
Thankfully, the world has a powerful tool – the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Because of the fund, malaria death rates are a fraction of what they were even a decade ago, and these new strains can be stopped in their tracks.
But it takes resources. This year the Global Fund is due for replenishment. Canada is among the least generous of aid donors among industrialized nations, yet with the world at a crossroads with malaria, it’s critical that we at last step up and contribute our fair share of funding.