Fight against Malaria getting stronger, but more funds needed

A World Bank anti-malaria program has exhibited excellent progress in its battle against the prevalent disease, but it will require more funding if the initiative intends to reduce the disease by 75 percent by 2010. Two years after the launching of the Malaria Booster program, the bank has given the thumbs-up to nearly half a billion dollars for malaria programs in different countries, and at least 240 million individuals are expected to benefit from the initiative. According to World Bank vice president for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili, there is evidence that malaria cases are decreasing in some countries, including such malaria-besieged nations like Zambia. However, the bank official says it will need an additional USD3 billion a year to effectively counter and prevent malaria. “A funding gap remains and it needs to be filled. There is no reason for people to die of malaria when it can be avoided. There is no room for donor inertia,” Ezekwesili said. (Source: Malaria battle making progress, needs aid boost/Reuters)

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