World Bank announces new programme to fight malaria

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 26:

The World Bank today announced a new ‘global strategy and booster programme’ to fight against malaria. According to a World Bank press release, the programme is being launched realising the need for a different and more robust approach to achieve success in fight against the disease. The bank has estimated a budget of $ 500 million to $ 1 billion for the next five years apart from co-financing from partners as per the demand from countries for more help. “The bank will mobilise financial and technical resources itself — as well as from the development community and private sector — to expand access to prevention and treatment, and to improve the underlying systems for sustainability,” the release said. “These efforts will increase the availability of insecticide-treated bed nets, anti-malarial drugs, and maintain long-term malaria control by governments and civil society groups and build public-private partnership for programme design, management and evaluation.”

“For many countries, controlling malaria is crucial to reduce staggering numbers of mothers and children who die every year from this preventable and curable disease,” Jean Louis Sarbib, senior vice-president for human development at the bank, was quoted as saying in the release. “With this global strategy, we are re-committing ourselves to a strong and sustained effort to control malaria. It is good for reducing human suffering and good for economic growth.” Malaria affects more than 100 countries worldwide. Africa is the worst affected region while South East Asia comprises 8 per cent. Globally, there are more than 500 million new cases of malaria every year.