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General Health : Environment Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

The world plans to eliminate malaria by 2015
By Ben Wasserman
Sep 26, 2008 - 11:36:35 AM

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Friday Sep 26, 2008 ( -- The world has gotten a new plan to eliminate malaria from the planet by 2015.   Organizers Thursday said they received pledges of nearly $3 billion, the Associated Press reports.


Malaria is a serious and sometime fatal disease caused by a mosquito-borne parasite. People infected with the disease typically experience high fever, shaking chills and flu-like illness. If not treated promptly, the disease may cause death.


The disease is most prevalent in Africa and Southeast Asia. The World Health Organization estimated that each year 300 - 500 million people are infected with malaria and more than 1 million people; mostly children under age 5, get killed by the disease.


The plan aims to completely eliminate malaria within seven years by providing people in the plagued areas insecticide-treated bed nets, insecticide spray and treatments. It will also offer preventative measures for pregnant women and invest in development of new vaccines and drugs.


The plan has received attention from many government officials and celebrities including high officials from the U.N. and Australia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zambia and individuals Bill Gates, U2 frontman Bono, "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller, and News Corp.'s president Peter Chernin, according to the AP.


But leaders in the campaign said they will need more than the pledged $3 billion. By 2010 alone, they will need more than $6 billion worldwide of which $2.86 billion is for Africa and $900 million each year for research on drugs, vaccines and preventatives.


The pledged money came from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ($1.62 billion), and the World Bank ($1.1 billion), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($0.169 billion), Britain ($0.070 billion) and others ($0.028 billion).

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