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AFRO-NETS> Gates gives US$ 168 million to malaria research

 

Gates gives US$ 168 million to malaria research
-----------------------------------------------
 
Katie Mantell 22 September 2003 
Source SciDev.Net: 
http://www.scidev.net/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=readnews&itemid=1021&language=1
 
The foundation set up by Microsoft founder Bill Gates has an-
nounced that it will donate US $168 million to accelerate re-
search into malaria.
 
The money will fund three research projects that seek to develop 
new drugs to fight drug-resistant malaria, effective malaria vac-
cines, and improved malaria prevention strategies for children.
 
"It's time to treat Africa's malaria epidemic like the crisis it 
is," Gates said yesterday, when announcing the grants at a ma-
laria treatment and research centre in Manhiça, Mozambique. "It 
is unacceptable that 3,000 African children die every day from a 
largely preventable and treatable disease."
 
Gates called on world leaders to renew the global fight against 
malaria, which infects 300 to 500 million people and kills more 
than one million a year ­ 90 per cent of them in Africa. 
 
"Investment in malaria research has fallen far short of the 
need," says Jong-Wook Lee, director-general of the World Health 
Organisation. "These grants will allow many more researchers to 
aggressively pursue promising leads for malaria drugs and vac-
cines, and quickly move research from the lab to the field."
 
Current spending on malaria control is estimated at US$ 200 mil-
lion a year. It is estimated that US$ 1.5 million to US$ 2.5 bil-
lion would be needed to effectively control the disease.
 
The new grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation include 
US$ 28 million for research on how existing malaria drugs could 
decrease severe illness from malaria in infants; US$ 40 million 
to help the Medicines for Malaria Venture ­ a public-private 
partnership based in Switzerland ­ develop new drugs; and US$ 100 
million towards vaccine research by the US-based Malaria Vaccine 
Initiative. 

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