Mexico. – In order to eradicate malaria in the next two years, the main goal of the initiative created by 9 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, are today the project leaders.
The regional initiative for the eradication of malaria (IREM), presented today in Mexico City, was created in cooperation with the Foundation of Carlos Slim, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund for the Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It will have an initial investment of $ 53 million granted by these institutions.
"The aim is to reach the most vulnerable communities, i.e. the population with the highest risk of infection in the region," said Dr. Emma Margarita Iriarte, IREM Executive Secretary.
This project aims to reach selected regions of the countries covered by the initiative, including four Mexican states, in order to detect and deal with cases of this disease.
Iriarte said that currently more than 40,000 reported cases of malaria in Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, in the last country last year confirmed 600 cases.
In addition, he said that it is estimated that more than 18 million people are exposed to the disease in the region. For this reason, IREM aims to eliminate the spread of malaria by 2020 and to ensure that the countries participating in the initiative consolidate their prevention policies by 2022.
To this end, Iriarte said it is important that the detected cases be treated within the first 48 hours "and thus reduce the infection in humans so that the mosquito can not continue the disease transmission cycle."
For his part, Roberto Tapia, general director of the Carlos Slim Foundation, said that treatment aimed at preventing the transmission of disease by the bite of another mosquito is cheap, because its cost is lower than the dollar.
"However, it is important to ensure that this treatment can reach the most distant communities at the right time" – he stressed. He pointed out that in addition to the 53 million originally invested by private institutions, the involvement of national governments would be needed to contribute $ 50 million more to finance these activities.
Tapia explained that if the country reaches the targets set in the agreed indicators, as an incentive, it can receive part of its investment to re-use it in health programs in its territory.