World Leaders Pledge Nearly $3 Billion To Eradicate Malaria

Feb. 23, 2010, 8:55 a.m.



26 September 2008

World leaders and the heads of philanthropic organizations gathered at the United Nations to pledge nearly $3 billion US to fight malaria in a plan that aims to eradicate the disease by 2015 (CBC News).

Of the funds provided in the pledge, $1.1 billion will come from the World Bank and $1.6 billion is due from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

The British government and a variety of private organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide the rest, BBC news reported Friday.

The Gates foundation announced a contribution of $168.7 million to develop a malaria vaccine in an effort to grant the vulnerable immunity from the disease soon after birth.

The pledges were made to a plan for reducing malaria-related deaths put together by the Rollback Malaria Partnership, a health consortium created by the World Bank and three UN agencies.

The partnership recommended that $5 billion should be spent on fighting malaria each year, almost five times the current amount.

"It's the first comprehensive plan to confront malaria in the near future but also to eliminate malaria everywhere it is possible," said Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, a former health minister of Senegal, who directs the partnership.

"This plan is not a dream, it is built on real things, success in the field.... It is a real global plan."

The plan was unveiled at a UN summit in New York on meeting millennium development goals on global poverty.

It will aim for an immediate reduction in deaths in the next two years by providing greater access to mosquito nets, indoor spraying, preventive measures for pregnant women, diagnosis and treatment.

"So many of our nations have been crippled by malaria," Rwandan President Paul Kagame said.

A World Health Organization report released last week put the number of malaria-related deaths worldwide at one million.   

Children under five years of age accounted for 85 per cent of those deaths, while 91 per cent of deaths occurred in Africa, the report said.

However, the report also said better drugs and more mosquito nets in Africa are helping to thwart the tropical disease, with Eritrea, Rwanda and São Tomé and Príncipe reporting reductions in malaria deaths by 50 per cent or more.

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