News / Health

Malaria Programs at Risk From Funding Cuts

Malaria Programs at Risk From Funding Cutsi
|| 0:00:00
X
December 22, 2012 12:52 AM
Funding for programs to control malaria and provide universal treatment for the mosquito-borne disease is falling short of international goals, according to the World Health Organization. In its annual report, the WHO also warns that the latest drugs could soon become ineffective against some deadly malarial parasites. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
TEXT SIZE - +
Henry Ridgwell
— Funding for programs to control malaria and provide universal treatment for the mosquito-borne disease is falling short of international goals, according to the World Health Organization. In its annual report, the WHO also warns that the latest drugs could soon become ineffective against some deadly malarial parasites.  

Ami Diabate, has brought her three children to a rural clinic to get the latest anti-malarial drugs.

The aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières - or Doctors Without Borders - is rolling out the pilot program across Mali. Results are encouraging - a 65-percent drop in infections a week after distribution.

Deadly disease

Diabate said she has noticed an immediate difference.

"My children used to have fevers regularly, she said, but since they started taking this medicine, they haven't run a temperature."

Malaria kills an estimated 660,000 people every year. Over the past decade, advances in prevention and treatment have cut the death rate by 30 percent.

The World Health Organization warns, however, that funding increases over the past two years have slowed significantly - putting such progress at risk.

Simon Wright is head of child survival at the aid agency, Save the Children.

“The financial crisis means that a lot of governments - not all by any means - but a lot of governments are tailing off in their aid budgets. And so where we were seeing growth we’re not seeing growth any more. But also there’s a factor of maybe donors changing their interests,” said Wright.

Short on supplies

In 2011, international donors made $2.3 billion available to fight malaria - less than half the $5.1 billion that the WHO says is needed annually.

The money goes toward some simple tools, said Professor Sir Brian Greenwood of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“One of those is the humble bed-net, which people have been using for hundreds of years. But the relatively new advance has been in treating the nets with insecticide. Now, the insecticide is actually incorporated into the material,” he said.

The number of insecticide-impregnated nets delivered to sub-Saharan Africa fell from 145 million in 2010 to 66 million in 2012. Indoor spraying programs also have leveled off.

Increased resistance

Greenwood said the greatest concern is the growing resistance of the malarial parasite to the latest medicines known as artemisinins.

“We do have now quite clear evidence that there is resistance to the artemisinins, particularly in Cambodia, but probably in the neighboring countries. Fortunately not yet in Africa, but it would be a disaster if those parasites got loose in Africa, and our main treatment was failing again, like it did with chloroquin,” he said.

Until an effective malaria vaccine is developed and made available globally, researchers say it is vital that donors continue to fund prevention and treatment programs that have made such progress until now.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid