This story is part one of a three-part series written in commemoration of Africa Malaria Day 2006. This year's Africa Malaria Day theme is "Get your ACT Together" - referring to ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy), the most, and sometimes only effective treatment for malaria.ACTs are a cornerstone of case management, one of the three-prongs of global malaria control.

The current crisis of human resources for health (HRH) has the potential to not only reverse health gains made in the past decade, but also to contribute to the collapse of the health system in some countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) is raising awareness about the HRH crisis in part by making HRH the theme of World Health Day 2006: Working Together for Health.The chronic shortage of workers in the health sector of developed and developing countries includes practitioners, trainers, educators, managers, and support staff.

Seventeen-year-old Wasil is one of the 76,000 Afghans with a new, active tuberculosis (TB) case this year; without treatment half of those infected will succumb to the disease. As a child, Wasil watched his mother die of TB, but when her all-too-familiar symptoms—persistent cough, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fever—frighteningly became his own, Wasil had access to a Comprehensive Health Center (CHC) operated by IMC, a REACH NGO grantee. At the CHC, sputum smear examination confirmed a diagnosis of TB, and Wasil began directly observed therapy, short course (DOTS).Read More