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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid