the VOA Special English Health Report.
businesses and other groups have promised to add three billion dollars to the
fight against malaria. The promises came last week at a meeting at the United
Nations in New York.
The money will support a new Global
Malaria Action Plan. The plan aims to stop the disease in Africa by two
thousand fifteen. Malaria is not limited to Africa, but ninety percent of
deaths happen south of the Sahara. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the
plan will not only support bed nets, but research, cutting drug costs and
expanding health care systems.
and international groups spent a billion dollars on malaria programs last year.
But the Roll Back Malaria Partnership says the world should spend more than
five times that amount. It says doing so could save four million lives by two
thousand fifteen. The partnership includes United Nations agencies, the World
Bank and leading drug makers.
this month, the World Health Organization released its World Malaria Report for
two thousand eight. The report presented sharply lower estimates of malaria
cases than in the past. W.H.O. officials say the corrections were mostly the
result of better methods of collecting information.
now, the agency has said there were as many as five hundred million infections
every year, with a million deaths. The new report estimates the number of
malaria cases in two thousand six at about two hundred fifty million. And it
estimates the number of deaths at eight hundred eighty-one thousand. The great
majority who die are young children.
W.H.O. says the old numbers came from using malaria maps from the nineteen
sixties. But changes have taken place, including the movement of people to
cities, especially in Asia. The disease is less common in urban areas.
The report says malaria deaths have
decreased in several countries, and a few African nations have reduced deaths
by half. Yet the malaria drugs needed for what is known as artemisinin-based
combination therapy reached only three percent of African children in need.
In the last two years, though, there
have been greatly increased efforts to provide families with bed nets. These
nets are treated with insecticides to kill the mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Campaigns for indoor spraying of insecticides in homes have also increased in
Africa and elsewhere.
And that’s the VOA Special English
Health Report, written by Caty Weaver. For more health news, go to
voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Jim Tedder.