Health

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Charles Dharapak/AP
U.S. President George W. Bush gets under an insecticide mosquito net, used to combat
malaria, as he visits A to Z textile mills in Arusha, Tanzania, Feb. 18, 2008. (AP)

UN on Tight Deadline to Reduce Malaria Cases

July 24, 2008 04:31 PM
by Lindsey Chapman
Doubts are surfacing about whether the UN will be able to meet a goal of reducing the incidence of malaria worldwide.

30-Second Summary

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The UN is rapidly approaching the end of a timetable it set to reduce the incidence of malaria in Africa and the rest of the world.

The organization is acting on a resolution passed years ago to control malaria’s spread in Africa by 2010, and in other parts of the world by 2015.

Timing anti-malaria efforts in Africa would have to “be very tight and will require an unprecedented degree of coordination among financing, training, monitoring and logistics” to be successful, said Scientific American.

Some people, however, have doubts that the programs will work that quickly.

An analysis of how anti-malaria funds are used in other parts of the world indicates that the UN may not achieve its 2015 goal either.

Not only would spending on malaria prevention have to increase between 50 percent and 450 percent, but money would have to be better allocated.

In some cases, countries with more people at risk of malaria receive less money than those with fewer people in danger.

Worldwide, more than one million people die from malaria each year, primarily children in sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is carried by mosquitoes, and causes flu-like symptoms, fever and chills.

“The toll of malaria is even more tragic because the disease itself is highly treatable and preventable,” President Bush once said of the disease. “Yet this is also our opportunity because we know that large-scale action can defeat this disease in whole regions.”

Headline Link: Time drawing near to meet UN malaria goals

Background: Reducing ‘the burden of malaria’

Opinion & Analysis: More funding required

Related Topic: The price of anti-malaria drugs

Reference: Malaria; bed nets

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