Governments, businesses and other groups have promised to add three
billion dollars to the fight against malaria. The promises came last
month at a meeting at the United Nations in New York.
The money will support a new Global Malaria Action Plan. The plan aims
to stop the disease in Africa by two thousand fifteen. Malaria is not
limited to Africa. Yet ninety percent of deaths happen south of the
Sahara. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the plan will not only
support bed nets, but research, cutting drug costs and expanding health
Governments and international groups spent a billion dollars on malaria
programs last year. But the Roll Back Malaria Partnership says the
world should spend more than five times that amount. It says doing so
could save four million lives by twenty-fifteen. The partnership
includes U.N. agencies, the World Bank and leading drug makers.
Last month, the World Health Organization released its World Malaria
Report for two thousand eight. The report presented sharply lower
estimates of malaria cases than in the past. Officials say the
corrections were mostly the result of better methods of collecting
Until now, the W.H.O. has said there were as many as five hundred
million infections every year, with a million deaths. The new report
estimates the number of malaria cases in two thousand six at about two
hundred fifty million. And, it estimates the number of deaths at eight
hundred eighty-one thousand. The great majority who die are young
The report says malaria deaths have decreased in several countries, and
a few African nations have reduced deaths by half. Yet the malaria
drugs needed for what is known as artemisinin-based combination therapy
reached only three percent of African children in need.
In the last two years, there have been greatly increased efforts to
provide families with bed nets. These nets are treated with insecticide
products to kill the mosquitoes that spread malaria. Campaigns for
indoor spraying of insecticides in homes have also increased in Africa
and other areas.
Listen to Health Report in Lao by clicking any audio file.
Translated by: Buasawan Simmala