Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono attended the commemoration of the first World Malaria Day at Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital in Central Jakarta on Thursday.
Accompanied by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, the President also dedicated an integrated treating room in the hospital.
Minister for Health Siti Fadilah Supari said in her report that the fight against the disease in Indonesia had been implemented since 1959, marked by the launching of a fight against malaria in Yogyakarta by the then president Soekarno on November 12, 1959.
The date has been observed as the National Health Day.
She said malaria was one of the contagious diseases which remained to be the world problem, including in Indonesia.
Some 500 millions people are infected with the disease every year and one million of them died.
In Indonesia, 424 out of the country`s 576 districts/municipalities are malaria-endemic areas and some 45 percent of the Indonesians are prone of malaria.
Among those attending the function were governors of 10 provinces, including Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, North Sumatra, Jakarta, Central Java and Yogyakarta.
The World Malaria Day is observed internationally on April 25. And April 25, 2008, marked the first World Malaria Day. Malaria is a preventable disease that causes more than 1 million deaths in infants and children under age 5 in sub-Saharan Africa - one approximately every 30 seconds.
This year`s theme, "Disease Without Borders," highlights malaria as a global emergency that knows no borders, the official website of the World Malaria Day said.
For the past eight years, April 25 has been recognized as Africa Malaria Day. Last year, President Bush proclaimed April 25 Malaria Awareness Day in the United States.
This year the United States, African countries, and other nations are coming together for World Malaria Day to help raise global awareness of malaria,