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Reasons Why Africa, Gates and Obama Want to End Malaria | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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File photo of a Zambian healthcare worker checking a malaria test during the Roll Back Malaria Zambezi Expedition in Matongo village, about 60 km (37 miles) from Livingstone, April 23, 2008. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

Global plans to put an end to malaria are being heavily supported by prominent couple, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Obama. The goal is to eliminate malaria by 2040 for good; thus the Gateses are by doubling their funding over the next decade to support the roll out of new products to tackle rising drug resistance to the disease.

As in regard of the main reasons why they are spending these loads of money on the issue, it starts off with the investment return, for instance, 11 million saved lives could be followed by unlocking $2 trillion in economic benefits by 2040 from a healthy, more productive workforce and health systems that are less burdened by the disease; Gates and the United Nations say.

From her side, Tanzania’s health ministry’s acting permanent secretary, Nkundwe Mwakyusa, said the emergence and spread of resistance to artemisinin, the most commonly used drug against malaria, in Asia was “a major concern”.

Worth noting that Malaria is one of the main reasons why Africans miss school or work, entrenching poverty as time and money are spent in hospital, rather than learning or earning.

More than half of the deaths of children under five in Tanzanian health facilities are due to malaria, according to the United States’ President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI).

Malaria in pregnancy also causes about a quarter of all underweight births in Africa, according to campaign group Malaria No More.

This translates to about 100,000 neonatal deaths a year, and underweight children tend to suffer poor health.

“There’s so much talk about zika and the terrifying effects during pregnancy but just in sheer scale, malaria outstrips it many times over,” said Martin Edlund, chief executive of Malaria No More.