Nearly One-Third Of All Countries Affected By Malaria On Course To Eliminate Disease, WHO Report Says
“Nearly a third of all countries affected by malaria are on course to eliminate the mosquito-borne disease over the next 10 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday … [i]n a progress report (.pdf) published by the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partnership at the start of an international Malaria Forum conference in Seattle,” Reuters reports (Kelland, 10/17). “The [WHO] has awarded malaria-free certification to three nations in the past four years, according to the report,” Agence France-Presse notes, adding, “If current successes in the fight against malaria continue, more than three million lives can be saved by 2015 with the elimination of the disease in eight to 10 countries, RBM said” (10/17).
David Brandling-Bennett, deputy director for malaria at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is hosting the Malaria Forum, “said it was vital for global health authorities, donors and national governments not to take their eye off the ball,” Reuters writes (10/17). “Funding for fighting malaria has increased 10-fold to $1.5 billion in the past five years” and has “helped pay for the bed nets, drugs and tests that have saved an estimated 1.1 million lives in Africa over the past decade, the report said,” Bloomberg notes (Bennett, 10/17). “Eradication is unlikely to succeed based on the tools we have today, said Brandling-Bennett,” according to KPLU 88.5’s “Humanosphere” blog. “That’s why the Gates Foundation is so heavily investing in finding new tools, he said, such as an effective vaccine, new methods for controlling mosquitoes … and new, more effective drug treatments,” the blog writes (Paulson, 10/17). Reuters provides a link to a malaria fact sheet (10/17).