On World Malaria Day, April 25, Sheikh Mohamed wrote on Twitter that the Emirates will continue to work with partners internationally to combat malaria. “We strive to harness the power of innovation to reduce the burden of preventable disease, accelerate its eradication, and bring new hope and opportunity to people around the world.” Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, declared the United Arab Emirates is committed to eradicating malaria.
“On World Malaria Day, we remain committed to the fight to end malaria through global partnerships and will continue to work with the global community to lead innovative, equity-driven programs to save millions more lives.”
Go down in history through the Roll Back Malaria initiative, the United Arab Emirates is a major contributor in the fight against malaria. Sheikh Mohammed has donated millions of dollars to fight malaria. With total investments of AED19.32 billion in development aid in 2017, the UAE spent 1.31% of its gross national income on foreign development aid, nearly double the global target of 0.7% set by the UAE. UN, according to the state news agency Emirates Herald.
Donations in 2017 represent an increase of 23.72% over the previous year, when the UAE contributed AED15.57 billion.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease, but the WHO and its partners have reported that progress against it is in danger of stalling. According to WHO data, in 2020 there were an estimated 241 million new cases of malaria and 627,000 malaria-related deaths in 85 countries. The deaths were reflected more in 5-year-old children who lived in Africa.
In October 2021, the WHO recommended the widespread use of the RTS,S malaria vaccine for young children living in areas with moderate and high transmission of the disease. Researchers have implemented technologies and tools to combat malaria, such as insecticide-treated mosquito nets, space mosquito repellents, and gene drive approaches.
More recent data shows that more than a million children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi have already received at least one dose of RTS,S, the first malaria vaccine.
The innovative vaccine was pioneered in Malawi in April 2019 and was found to be safe and substantially reduce severe cases of malaria, the WHO said in a World Malaria Day statement. “This vaccine is not just a scientific breakthrough, but transforms the lives of families in Africa,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the Emirates Herald news agency.