Africa gets funds to fight malaria

Thursday May 6 2010

By Evelyn Lirri

Uganda is to benefit from a $100 million (aboutShs200billion) new funding to fight malaria in endemic countries. The new funding was announced yesterday at the World Economic Forum that opened in the Tanzanian city of Dar el Salaam.

A press statement from the UN Secretary General’s adviser on malaria, Mr Ray Chambers, said the money has been provided through the US President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).

Uganda is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where high incidences of malaria continue to occur with at least 300 deaths registered daily, mostly among children under five years and pregnant women.

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), a coalition that brings together 26 malaria endemic countries, plans to spend the bulk of this money on purchasing mosquito nets and other malaria control interventions.

“The new US funding comes as ALMA finalises a bulk purchase of long lasting insecticidal nets. This bulk purchase of 50 million long lasting insecticidal nets by 12 African nations will reduce costs and streamline procurement and distribution, accelerating the rate at which nets will begin reaching risk populations,” the statement said.

“ALMA is leading the effort to reverse malaria by functioning as a nexus with the collective will and authority to bridge the gap between malaria control interventions and the people whose lives depend on them,” said Mr Chambers.

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“African Leaders, working together with friends of ALMA, are forging the African-led response needed to solve one of Africa’s most severe health challenges,” he added.

Mosquito nets have been commended as an effective way to combat malaria.
Health experts say net use can cut malaria transmission by 50 per cent and child deaths by 20 per cent.

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