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UAE to welcome Princes Astrid of Belgium as Ambassador of Roll Back Malaria

posted on 28/03/2009: 885 views

Geneva - HE Obeid Salim Al Zaa'abi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the UN European Headquarters in Geneva, received yesterday Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Director, Roll Back Malaria Partnership Partnership (RBM).

The meeting comes within the framework of the upcoming visit of the RBM high-level delegation to the UAE as part of a Gulf tour to rally support for the global fight against malaria--one of the world's three major killer diseases. Led by Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium as Special Representative of the RBM, the team will urge countries of the region to join the global initiative as an active partner in the anti-malaria drive.

The meeting reviewed the UAE humanitarian health programmes to fight rife diseases worldwide and its efforts to ease suffering of needy population in need of health care in different parts of the world especially Africa.

HRH Princess Astrid's first engagements as Special Representative in 2009 will include visits to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in late March and participation in World Malaria Day activities on April 25th.

HRH Princess Astrid is championing efforts to defeat malaria and has been engaged as RBM Special Representative for two years, visiting countries in Africa to highlight progress in the malaria battle as well as research centres, malaria treatment and vaccine manufacturing companies in Europe.

The World Malaria Day will be marked on May 25.

Data provided by the RBM website says that every year, malaria kills between 1 and 3 million people and infects 300-500 million. Malaria is the leading cause of death among sub-Saharan African children under the age of five. In addition to its human toll, malaria costs Africa US $ 12 billion per year and up to 40% of government health spending.

The next two years are critical to the fight against malaria as the RBM promotes the implementation of the Global Malaria Action Plan and countdown to the 2010 goals of universal coverage with all interventions.

The RBM Global Partnership is the global framework to implement coordinated action against malaria. It mobilizes for action and resources and forges consensus among Partners. The Partnership is comprised of hundreds of 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. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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