Congo: Other World Inside Us

Wednesday , 24 September 2008


Leading figures from government within UN, business and civil society will meet the following weeks in New York to mention how close the world is to stop malaria deaths by the target date of 2015 a goal that the United Nations special diplomat for the disease says that it is clearly within reach.

Alan Doss, the Secretary-General's Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has reflected his deep sadness about the tragedy of the Congolese people and to support the rebuilding of the country.

Free treatment to save lives
In the Republic of Congo, 21,000 children die due to malaria every year. The main reasons of that among children are under five. To overcome this situation, the Government of the Republic of Congo is now funding a new policy concentrated on free malaria treatment for children under the age of 15 and women who are pregnant.

"This policy of free treatment for vulnerable groups will be critical to ensure the survival of children. More than 30 per cent of under-five deaths are caused by malaria," said Emilienne Raoul, the Minister of Health and Social Services.

24 health centers have been concerned with a policy to expand to all 244 centers in the country by the end of the year. Children and women will receive free diagnostic tests as well as free artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT), this is an effective treatment against malaria.

'Mother and Child Week'
A "Mother and Child Week' will be held to promote awareness in the country about the policy at the beginning of August, by providing children with vaccines and mosquito nets. Malaria treatment for pregnant women is aimed to be cured as well. Last year, 545,000 children received free mosquito nets produced by UNICEF and financed by the Government of Japan and the United Nations Foundation. Pregnant women also received free intermittent preventive treatment of malaria.

"Together, sleeping under insecticide-treated mosquito nets, preventive treatment of pregnant women and access to free ACT treatment has the potential to save the lives of 14,000 Congolese children under five every year," said Dr. Koenraad Vanormelingen, UNICEF Representative in Congo-Brazzaville.

Through these kinds of combined strategies, UNICEF and its partners hope to prevent more children from dying of malaria due to a lack of proper and timely health care.

Övgü Şahin JTW,
September 24, 2008

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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