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ALMA Launches Malaria Drive On Opening Day Of WEF On Africa

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), comprised of the heads of 26 countries, on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa “launched a fresh drive to eliminate malaria using a combination of bed nets, insecticides and medication,” Reuters reports (Nyambura-Mwaura, 5/5).

“ALMA said it has finalized a bulk purchase of 50 million long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) by 12 African countries, which is expected to reduce costs and extend coverage of LLINs for populations threatened by malaria,” Xinhua/Crienglish.com reports. During a news conference on the sidelines of the forum, U.S. Malaria Coordinator Tim Ziemer said President Barack Obama requested $680 million for malaria in 2011. ALMA’s initiative will receive some funding from the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, according to the news service (5/6).

Ray Chambers, the U.N. special envoy for malaria, said, “We believe that if we cover everybody in Africa with bed nets, insecticides and medication by the end of this year, we will have zero deaths or near zero deaths from malaria in Africa by 2015,” Reuters writes (5/5). Chambers “said African countries and international organisations must grasp the opportunity of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa to advocate the fight against malaria and accelerate actions of confronting the number one killer of children under five on the continent,” according to BuaNews (5/6). Also present at the press conference were Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete; Olivier Raynaud, a senior director of global health at WEF; and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, a U.N. special ambassador on malaria, The Citizen reports (Nyanje, 5/5).

President Kikwete addressed the forum during the opening day, the Times of Zambia/allAfrica.com reports. In a speech, Kikwete called for collaboration and “mentioned some of the challenges faced by African countries as poor infrastructure, inadequate health and education services as well as the escalating poverty levels in many states among others. ‘There is no way the problems of any country could be solved without working together with the rest,'” he said, the publication writes (5/6).

Kikwete also discussed some of the major agricultural projects underway in the country and called for additional investment in agriculture, Tanzania Daily News/allAfrica.com writes. He said one area of the country has “huge agriculture potential and we want to partner with the private sector to invest in this area heavily” (Simbeye, 5/5). PANA/Afrique en ligne also reports on the first day of the WEF (5/6).

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