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article imageGates pledges action to stop malaria deaths

By Tim Sandle     Feb 1, 2016 in Health
Liverpool - Bill Gates and a consortium of charitable bodies and governments are aiming to end deaths from malaria. Behind this aim is a multi-million investment from the British government.
Malaria is caused by a single-celled parasite belonging to genus Plasmodium. The parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes, via their bites, in over 100 countries and the disease presents a risk to over 3.3 billion people. Once in the bloodstream, the parasite moves to the liver. Here it matures and reproduces in forms that infect the red cells and cause clinical symptoms
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have declared malaria could be eliminated within the next 15 years, provided sufficient funds can be allocated to appropriate research. This declaration was made at the School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, U.K., to mark a new funding initiative from the British government. The meeting was addressed by Bill Gates and two Conservative Party politicians: Chancellor George Osborne and International Development Secretary, Justine Greening.
The statement is designed to help meet the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) goal of a 90 percent reduction in deaths from malaria by 2030. The WHO goal is less ambitious than Gates’ own aim. To back up Gates’ plan, the U.K. will donate £500 million ($750 million) per year over a five-year period for scientific research to combat malaria.
George Osborne, who is favorite to succeed David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party (and perhaps become Prime Minister) told the meeting: “Across the globe over a billion people are infected with malaria and it’s a cause of both untold misery and lost economic potential. That’s why, working with Bill Gates, I’m determined that Britain leads the world in the fight against this disease.”
The U.K. spending will be via the Ross Fund, so named after Sir Ronald Ross, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering that mosquitoes transmit malaria. The Ross Fund also covers research into other diseases like Ebola and tuberculosis.
Bill Gates focused on the scientific study being carried out at the School of Tropical Medicine into malaria. Gates spoke highly of the work within the U.K., as PharmaFile reports: “From the strength of its scientific community, to the bravery of the ordinary men and women who go out to fight these diseases, the UK’s commitment to global health is building healthier futures for people living in the world’s poorest places and making the world a safer place for all of us.”
In addition to the U.K. spend; The Gates Foundation will contribute $200 million during 2016 to support research into malaria. This will be followed by other (unspecified) spending. The Gates investments added to the U.K. funding equates to a minimum £3 billion commitment.
This month Gates has also pledged investment into the Global Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) Research Innovation Fund, together with President Xi of China.
More about Malaria, Bill gates, George osborne, tropical medicine
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