The world must take action now to end malaria deaths—currently at 1 million per year—by 2010, UN chief Ban Ki Moon said today. "We have the resources and the know-how, but we have less than 1,000 days" to meet the goal, said Ban on the first World Malaria Day. The main push will be to provide bed nets and sprays to all of Africa, BBC reports.
About 90% of deaths occur on the continent. Previous efforts to stem the spread of the disease, which is both treatable and preventable, met with failure. The Roll Back Malaria effort begun in 1998 saw deaths rise partway through its run. Still, Ban is confident that the new UN initiative is a "bold but achievable vision."