Singer calls for gender-aspects of malaria prevention

UNICEF Ambassador for malaria,Yvonne Chaka-Chaka yesterday urged ministers of Health, lead UN agencies, AIDS and malaria activists, non-governmental organizations, private sector and key malaria stakeholders, who gathered at the fourth malaria conference to ensure that preventive and control measures reach women adequately to achieve sustainable impact in the fight against malaria.

Women and children are at greatest risk of contracting the disease, especially in Africa, where poverty has a greater impact on women than men and where women have less control over resources and decision-making process.

"It is critical that women at every level come together to create awareness of the magnitude of the problem and highlight the inequalities that impact women, as primary health care givers and sufferers of malaria," said Chaka-Chaka to the 400 participants attending the two-day event.

"The integration of a gender perspective for effective malaria control is crucial," declared the South African celebrity.

"The gender perspective on malaria research and all areas of malaria control implementation has been neglected in the current global response to the disease mainly because there is little understanding of the gender aspect of malaria," said Dr Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Secretary of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership.

The necessity of taking into consideration the social inequality status between men and women in the management of malaria has been driving the work of the Gender Malaria Network - the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM), Kvinnoforum and Femmes Solidarité Afrique.

"Malaria contributors are grateful to see that Chaka Chaka is lending her voice to this network," added Coll-Seck.

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