Friday Sep 26, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- 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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