NEWS: New UK Drive to End Malaria Deaths 2 July 2009
An additional 30 million bed nets, the development of life-saving new treatments and new funding to increase access to anti-malarial drugs are announced today in a package of measures by International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, as the UK continues its fight to rid the world of malaria.
Every year 247 million people are infected with malaria with nearly one million of those dying from the disease.
The Department for International Development (DFID) has led the UK’s programme to tackle malaria. By 2010 we will have met the Prime Minster’s pledge to deliver 20 million bednets- preventing some 110,000 child deaths and our funding to the Global Fund has helped deliver 74 million malaria treatments.
Today Douglas Alexander announced the action DFID will take over the coming years, which will prevent millions of people dying from this preventable disease. These measures include:
- 30 million new long lasting insecticide treated bednets (10 million each year from 2010 to 2013), to help ensure all women and children that need to are sleeping under a bednet and to help replace existing bednets where required. This new commitment will help prevent a further 165,000 child deaths.
- £19 million from 2010 to the Medicines for Malaria Venture to support the development of new drugs to combat malaria, including those to treat children.
- Financial support for the Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFM) pilot which makes the newer, effective malaria combination therapies available at low prices to public and private sectors by negotiating directly with drug suppliers to secure lower prices for guaranteed orders. This means they can be passed on to patients at low prices or for free. DFID is currently providing £40 million over two years and beyond 2010 we will maintain at least this level of support for the roll out and expansion of the AMFM, if it proves successful.
- Exploring an Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) to create a range of vaccines by the end of 2009, including a special focus on malaria. AMC is an innovative financing scheme which works by using donor advance commitments to subsidise the purchase of effective vaccines desperately needed in the developing world– thereby creating commercial demand for the vaccines. DFID will stand ready to commit significant financial support to put in place a new AMC if the assessment study recommends we do so.
- Driving and supporting action to encourage political leadership, commitment and public awareness about malaria with the goal of reaching the Global Malaria Action Plan target of reducing deaths to near zero by 2015. We will work closely with campaigns such as United Against Malaria – including Malaria No More - and use the 2010 World Cup as a way of raising awareness and support.
International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, said:
"It is shocking and wrong that one million people still die from malaria every year. Most of these lives could be saved if people slept under a bednet but all too often families cannot afford one.
"That is why this Government is supplying families across Africa with bednets to protect them from this killer disease We are already committed to distributing 20 million bednets worldwide by 2010 and we are now aiming to supply a further 30 million nets by 2013.
"Thanks to Britain we are saving millions of lives, which is something we can all be proud of."
To view the release on DFID's website go to http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Media-Room/News-Stories/2009/New-UK-drive-to-end-malaria-deaths/