News / Health

Funding New Challenge in Fight against Malaria in Southeast Asia

Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore speaks during the opening ceremony of the meeting on efforts to prevent and control malaria at Thai-Burma Border in Kanchanaburi province, October 27, 2012.
Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore speaks during the opening ceremony of the meeting on efforts to prevent and control malaria at Thai-Burma Border in Kanchanaburi province, October 27, 2012.
Ron Corben
World Health Organization and United Nations authorities say a growing challenge in combating malaria is the increasing evidence of drug resistant strains in Southeast Asia. Health officials are meeting in Australia this week to better organize a regional approach to combating the disease.

A global partnership led by the World Health Organization says, despite gains with falling mortality rates in the past decade, malaria remains a global health problem, claiming the lives of more than 650,000 people a year - mostly in Africa.

In Asia, the most affected countries are India, Indonesia, Pakistan and Burma. Across the region in 2010 the WHO says malaria affected 30 million people and killed 42,000.

Now, growing evidence of a drug resistant strain of malaria in Southeast Asia is leading to fears that it could spread, perhaps adding as many as 200,000 people to the global death toll.

Fatoumata Nafo-Traore is the executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, a joint effort among the WHO, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Bank and others.  She says authorities are focused on better understanding the drug resistant strain.

"The development of the parasite resistance to the artemisinin combination [drug] therapy…that is the biggest challenge and it started in the border with Cambodia and Thailand... but we’ve started really taking concrete action on that," she said.

The WHO says other signs of drug resistant strains have appeared on the Thai-Burma border as well as in Vietnam.

But Nafo-Traore says a challenge also lies in a continuing funding gap.  She is looking to the private sector to make up the shortfall.

"It is critical for us to maintain the level of funding and work on increasing it through other sources of funding. That is why we are looking at improving domestic resources - engaging the private sector for more resources for malaria control because malaria is also linked to employment absenteeism, absenteeism at the school level - a lack of investment," said Nafo-Traore.

In a bid to consolidate Asia Pacific regional cooperation, Australia is sponsoring a conference this week, marking the first regional political summit on malaria.

Nafo-Traore says, although Australia is presently malaria free, the government has made it a priority to support countries to eliminate malaria. She hopes Australia will provide more financial support to less developed regional countries to enable them to further push back malaria.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid