Asia-Pacific Accounts For Second Highest Burden Of Malaria Outside Of Africa, RBM Partnership Report Says
At a meeting of leading malaria scientists, political leaders, and health experts in Sydney on Friday, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership released a new report (.pdf) showing that more than two billion people in the Asia-Pacific region are at risk of the disease, Agence France-Presse reports. “There were some 34 million cases of malaria outside Africa in 2010, claiming the lives of an estimated 46,000 people,” the news agency notes, adding, “The Asia-Pacific, which includes 20 malaria-endemic countries, accounted for 88 percent, or 30 million, of these cases and 91 percent, or 42,000, of the deaths” (Parry, 11/2).
“Asia accounts for the second highest burden of malaria, second only to Africa. In the face of persistent economic uncertainty and profound changes in the landscape of global development aid, the region needs strong political leadership,” the report states, according to Xinhua News. The region also needs to develop and implement a financing strategy, including domestic investment and multilateral and bilateral aid, as well as focus on preventing and stopping the development of drug-resistant malaria strains, experts said, according to the news agency (11/2). “‘Antimalarial drug resistance is one of the greatest challenges to continued success in controlling and eliminating malaria in the Asia-Pacific,’ Robert Newman, director of WHO’s global malaria program, said in a statement,” AlertNet reports (Rowling, 11/1). In a keynote address, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced the country “will spend more than 100 million Australian dollars ($104 million) over the next four years to help reduce deaths from malaria in the Asia-Pacific region,” the Associated Press/Businessweek notes (11/1).