U.S. Funding For Malaria Program Must Be Maintained To Prevent Resurgence; Researchers Warn Of Spread Of Drug-Resistant Strain

New York Times: As Malaria Resists Treatment, Experts Warn of Global Crisis
“…[A] new, drug-resistant strain of the disease, impervious to artemisinin and another popular drug with which it is frequently paired, piperaquine, threatens to upend years of worldwide eradication efforts — straining health care systems and raising the prospect that the death toll could increase again. In recent years, public health officials have tracked the spread of deadly falciparum malaria parasites from western Cambodia to Thailand and Laos, and most recently into Vietnam. … A much bigger worry is that resistance could spread to sub-Saharan Africa, where malaria kills nearly 3,000 children a day despite the widespread use of artemisinin…” (Ives/McNeil, 11/21).

Reuters Health: Proposed cuts in foreign aid could cause malaria resurgence
“If U.S. President Donald Trump cuts 44 percent of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) funding, a significant proportion of the global budget for malaria control, there would be a worldwide resurgence of malaria, British researchers say. … If PMI funding is maintained, it will prevent 162 million more cases of malaria and save 692,589 lives between 2017 and 2020, the researchers calculate. But if the PMI budget is reduced by 44 percent, as proposed in President Trump’s [budget request] released earlier this year, there will be an additional 67 million cases of malaria and 290,649 deaths from it over the same four years, according to the analysis published online November 21 in PLoS Medicine…” (Weinstock, 11/21).

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