Mexico. – The main goal of the initiative, created by 9 Latin American countries, including Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, to eradicate malaria in the next two years, project leaders said today.
The Regional Malaria Removal Initiative (IREM), presented today in Mexico City, was created in co-operation with the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund for Combating AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and will have an initial investment of 53 million dollars approved by these institutions.
"The goal is to reach the most vulnerable communities, the population with the highest risk of infection in the region," said Dr. Emma Margarita Iriarte, IREM Executive Secretary at the press conference.
This project seeks to reach the targeted regions of the countries that are part of this initiative, including the four Mexican states, to find and resolve cases of this disease.
Iriarte stated that there are currently over 40,000 reported malaria cases in Central America, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, confirming 600 cases in the past year.
In addition, he said that it is estimated that more than 18 million people in the region are exposed to contracting this disease. That is why IREM sought to eradicate the spread of malaria by 2020 and ensure that the countries participating in the initiative consolidate their preventive policies by 2022.
For this purpose, Iriarte said that it is essential that the recovered cases are cured in the first 48 hours, "and thus cutting infection in humans so mosquitoes can not continue with the cycle of disease transmission."
Roberto Tapia, General Director of Carlos Slim Foundation, said the treatment to prevent the patient from transmitting the disease through the bite of another mosquito was inexpensive because its cost was lower than the dollar.
"However, it is important to ensure that this treatment is timely access to the farthest communities," he insisted. He said that, in addition to the $ 53 million initially invested by private institutions, the government's commitment will be needed to fund these activities by $ 50 million more.
Tapia explained that in the event that the country achieves the goals set out in the agreed indicators, as an incentive it can get a part of its investment to re-use it in health programs in its territory.