Major push could end malaria deaths by 2015 - WHO
* Mosquito nets, proper diagnosis, treatment key to success
* Good progress in past decade but gains fragile, WHO says
* Annual funding at $1.8 billion, $6 billion needed
By Stephanie Nebehay
GENEVA, Dec 14 (Reuters) - The world could stop malaria deaths by 2015 if massive investment is made to ramp up control measures, including wider use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.
Progress has been made over the decade, with deaths estimated to have dropped to 781,000 last year from nearly 1 million in 2000, the WHO said in its World Malaria Report 2010.
The largest absolute decrease in mortality was recorded in sub-Saharan Africa, which still accounts for nine out of 10 deaths, mainly children, according to the U.N. agency. More countries are reporting that they have halved cases and deaths since 2000, 11 of them in Africa and 32 in other regions.
"By maintaining these essential gains, we can end malaria deaths by 2015," Ray Chambers, the U.N. secretary-general's special envoy for malaria, said in a statement with the report. Continued...