At Beyond 5, we focus on five things that will help each child live to their fifth birthday and beyond:

Malaria falls under preventable diseases and children under 5 years old is the group most affected.  The world’s deadliest creature, the mosquito, kills nearly 655,000 people every year.  The World Health Organization estimates that an African child younger than 5 dies every 45 to 60 seconds from the disease.

Last week, the World Health Organization reported positive news in the fight against malaria.

Global efforts to control and eliminate malaria have saved an estimated 3.3 million lives since 2000, reducing malaria mortality rates by 45 percent globally and by 49 percent in Africa.

An expansion of prevention and control measures has been mirrored by a consistent decline in malaria deaths and illness, despite an increase in the global population at risk of malaria between 2000 and 2012. Increased political commitment and expanded funding have helped to reduce incidence of malaria by 29 percent globally, and by 31 percent in Africa.

The large majority of the 3.3 million lives saved between 2000 and 2012 were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden, and among children aged less than 5 years – the group most affected by the disease. Over the same period, malaria mortality rates in children in Africa were reduced by an estimated 54 percent.

This is encouraging news for children around the world. However, in order for this trend to continue, the World Health Organization warns that we cannot become complacent. What can you do?

  1. Contact your member of Congress and let them know that as their constituent, you would like them to support Global Health programs.
  2. This Christmas, give the gift of bed nets to a family. You can purchase the nets through the World Vision Gift Catalog and provide a family of four protection from mosquito bites for up to four years.

Photo: Ayugi Ketty, 13, Aodo Martha, 6, Arokot Faith Miriam, 4, and Omagor Emmanuel, 3, are now protected from malaria thanks to donated mosquito nets. © 2012 World Vision/ photo by Gary Dowd

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