Gates gives US$ 168 million to malaria research
Katie Mantell 22 September 2003
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
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