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Ted Marcelino, MLA Tyndall Park
April 25, 2013

World Malaria Day

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mark World Malaria Day. Established in May 2007 by the World Health Organization, this internationally recognized day aims to spread awareness of this disease. This devastating illness is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans as well as other animals. Its symptoms typically include headache and fever. In severe cases, however, an infection can be fatal. Around the world, 3.3 billion people in more than 100 countries are at risk of this disease. It is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including much of the Sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas and Asia.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, millions of people are still unable to access preventative therapies, diagnostic testing and appropriate treatment. In 2010 alone, there were an estimated 219 million malaria cases worldwide. In Africa, where malaria's impact is greatest, a child dies every minute from the disease. For children who survive, it can devastate their education, keeping them out of school and sometimes causing lasting learning disabilities. Malaria also keeps adults out of work and robs families of necessary income, costing African countries alone an estimated $12 billion annually in lost productivity.

On this day, I am pleased to be a part of the fight against malaria. I encourage every Manitoban to learn more about this preventable and curable disease and to support the fight against it.

Thank you to the many individuals and organizations who are dedicated to that fight, including Spread the Net, Malaria No More and the Buy-a-Net Malaria Prevention Group. I thank them for bringing this issue to my attention and for asking me to speak about this serious disease. Your efforts are commendable. You are working toward a better, healthier world.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.