GRAHAM Jones said ‘significant progress’ was being made to tackle malaria worldwide.

The Hyndburn Labour MP said he had spoken to local NHS staff about the testing and treatment of Hyndburn residents who may turn up to hospitals with malaria-like symptoms after a trip abroad.

Malaria is a disease carried by mosquitos, and symptoms include fever and headache.

The disease, which is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, can be fatal.

Mr Jones said: “The current statistics are harrowing. Despite the fact that malaria is preventable and curable, it kills one child every minute, causes one half of all preventable school absences in Africa, and costs African economics an estimated £8 billion a year in lost productivity.

“Yet, there is reason for optimism. The WHO reported that since 2000, overall malaria deaths have fallen by 45 per cent, and deaths in young children have been halved, saving the lives of over three million youths.”

Mr Jones said the UK had helped contribute to the recent progress by delivering investment, which it will continue to do until next year.

But Mr Jones called on the government to commitment to continued funding.

He added: “We have the knowledge, resources and opportunity to eradicate malaria.

“The government must continue to be a proactive member of the international community and to honour our commitment to tackling malaria.”