Malaria Fight Gets $3B Booster Shot

Initiative will focus on Africa, stress the need for persistence
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2008 12:05 PM CDT
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, left, listens as British Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks at the malaria summit.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The global fight against malaria will get an unprecedented $3 billion push from a global alliance of nonprofits, financial institutions, and governments, the Wall Street Journal reports, with a focus on prolonging the effort beyond initial successes. The Global Malaria Action Plan aims for multibillion-dollar yearly funding through 2020, and hopes to save 4.2 million lives by 2015.

The mosquito-borne disease infects 300 million every year, and kills 1 million, many in Africa. Some $3 billion annually would be targeted on the continent, for the purchase of anti-mosquito bed nets, medicines, and insecticides. Efforts at eradicating malaria have a good track record, but victory is often followed by complacency, then resurgence. “Success breeds failure in a program of this kind,” one doctor says.