Mexico.- To eradicate malaria in the next two years is the main goal of initiatives made by 9 countries in Latin America, including Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, project leaders said today.
The Regional Initiative for the Elimination of Malaria (IREM), which was presented today in Mexico City, has been made together with the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and this will have an initial investment of 53 million dollars provided by these institutions.
"The aim is to reach the most vulnerable communities, which are the population with the highest risk of infection in the region," Dr. Emma Margarita Iriarte, IREM executive secretary, said at a press conference.
The project seeks to reach areas targeted in countries that are part of the initiative, including four Mexican states, to detect and handle cases of this disease.
Iriarte said that currently there are only more than 40,000 malaria cases reported in Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, in the last country last year confirmed 600 cases.
In addition, he said that it was estimated that in the region more than 18 million people were contracted by this disease. That is why IREM is trying to eradicate, by 2020, the spread of malaria and ensure that countries participating in the initiative consolidate their preventive policies in 2022.
For this purpose, Iriarte said that it was important that detected cases be treated within the first 48 hours "and thus cut infection in humans so that the mosquitoes cannot continue with the disease transmission cycle."
Roberto Tapia, general director of the Carlos Slim Foundation, said that treatment to prevent patients from transmitting the disease through other mosquito bites is cheap, because it costs less than a dollar.
"However, it is important to ensure that this treatment can reach the most remote communities in a timely manner," he insisted. He pointed out that for this, in addition to the 53 million dollars originally invested by private institutions, the commitment of the governments of the countries would be needed to contribute 50 million more dollars to finance this action.
Tapia clarifies that if the country reaches the goals set out in the agreed indicators, as an incentive, it can receive a portion of its investment to reuse it in health programs within its territory.