The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said it has provided 659 million mosquito nets around the world to prevent malaria.

This is contained in a statement issued by the organisation and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.

The statement said that the organisation had supported the people through its programmes designed and implemented by local experts.

It stated that the number of deaths caused by malaria had declined by 50 per cent in more than 100 countries.

“It declined by 50 per cent where the Global Fund invested between 2000 and 2015 and with continued support, 21 countries could eliminate malaria by 2020.’’

According to the statement, the Global Fund has saved 20 million lives through the distribution of the mosquito nets.

It stated that the organisation was on track to reach 22 million lives saved by the end of 2016.

“ As a result of prevention and control interventions in more than 100 countries, Global Fund-supported programmes averted 146 million new infections from the three diseases since 2012 alone.’’

It said that in Africa specifically, malaria mortality rates had fallen by 66 per cent among all age groups and 71 per cent among children under five years old since 2000.

“Still, malaria remains one of the top causes of morbidity in pregnant women and mortality in children under five, which is why a renewed effort is key to achieve a malaria-free world,’’ it stated.

In addition, the statement stated that the replenishment of the Global Fund for 2017-19 was confirmed on Sept. 16 at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference, taking place in Montreal, Canada.

The statement quoted Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) at the Replenishment conference as reaffirming the commitment to end the diseases.

The three diseases are AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“Today at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference, leaders from around the world reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and to end the three devastating diseases.

“African leadership and ownership are essential in the fight against malaria.

The Global Fund works in close partnership with African countries as countries commit more of their own resources to the fight against malaria.

“The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) wholeheartedly supports the work of the Global Fund, which has helped to save millions of lives in Africa.

“We thank all partners for their generous contributions to the Global Fund and we look forward to working together to continue progress towards a malaria-free Africa,’’ the statement quoted Phumaphi as saying.