News / Health

Malaria Programs at Risk From Funding Cuts

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 Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid