“We celebrate the remarkable progress that has been made against malaria under the MDGs and honor the great champion we have had in Princess Astrid as Special Representative of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership over the past eight years” says the RBM Executive Director Dr Fatoumata Nafo Traoré on Monday 14 December 2015 at Chateau de Val Duchesse, in Brussels, Belgium. For 8 years Princess Astrid has been a Special Representative for the RBM Partnership.
“Your unwavering commitment has helped save more than 6 million lives and achieve the malaria-related Millennium Development Goal. I applaud your remarkable compassion, resolute action and tireless activism. I am inspired by your personal commitment to humanity,“ says the United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon, whose special message was video cast during the occasion.
According to Dr. Traoré, who was accompanied by Ms. Barbara Pesce-Monteiro Princess’ Astrid’s “support has allowed us to unlock new innovations and increase access to life-saving services in communities around the world. Statistics she quoted indicate that global malaria mortality has decreased by 60% since 2000. For example, an 80% reduction in malaria-related deaths was recorded in the Americas between 2000 and 2013.
During her tenure as Special Representative, Princess Astrid engaged in worldwide travel wherein she met national personalities, medical staff as well as recovering victims especially in villages at home, hospitals or schools.
Like many other countries in Africa, Cameroon, a Central African nation, malaria is a public health concern. Though malaria makes up to 48% of admissions into hospitals, according to studies, only 50% of children under 5 years old benefit from free treatment in health facilities due to obstacles including distance, shortage of health staff and poverty.
The RBM Partnership was launched in 1998 by WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank, in an effort to provide a coordinated global response to the disease. The Partnership brings together more than 500 partners, including malaria endemic countries, their bilateral and multilateral development partners, the private sector, nongovernmental and community-based organizations, foundations, and research and academic institutions.
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