Oct. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Malaria, the deadly infection that affects 40 percent of the world’s population, may be eliminated from more than a quarter of countries afflicted by the disease within a decade, according to a report.
Among 108 nations and territories in which the mosquito- borne malady is entrenched, 29 have stopped transmission within their borders or are on track to do so within the next 10 years, the Geneva-based Roll Back Malaria Partnership said in a report today.
Funding for fighting malaria has increased 10-fold to $1.5 billion in the past five years as donations from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have helped pay for the bed nets, drugs and tests that have saved an estimated 1.1 million lives in Africa over the past decade, the report said. Still, progress toward a goal of eradicating the disease will be jeopardized if funding is not maintained, said Eric Mouzin, one of the report’s authors.
“Our children will judge us based on what we’re able to accomplish over the next few years,” Mouzin said in a telephone interview. “We have everything in our hands today to be able to eliminate malaria. Whether or not we do it depends on us.”
Malaria infected about 225 million people and killed about 781,000 in 2009, mostly children under 5 in Africa, the World Health Organization said in December. That makes it the world’s third-deadliest infectious killer behind AIDS and tuberculosis.
The report was timed to coincide with the Gates Foundation’s Global Malaria Forum, which starts in Seattle today.
The Roll Back Malaria Partnership is a network of more than 500 partners, including governments, companies and non- governmental organizations, that aims to coordinate the global response to the disease. It was founded by three United Nations agencies and the World Bank in 1998 and is based at the WHO in Geneva.
--Editors: Bruce Rule, Chris Staiti
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