Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fuel fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

Global partnership to give Africans access to cheaper malaria drugs

Latest update : 2009-04-17

Africans will be able to buy more effective and affordable malaria drugs at their local pharmacies, under an international partnership launched in Norway. Malaria strikes about 250 million people a year, one million of whom die.

AFP - More effective drugs to treat malaria are set to be cheaper for Africans to buy at their local pharmacies, under an international partnership launched Friday at a meeting in Norway.

The Affordable Medicines Facility aims to push down the cost of modern malaria drugs in order to drive older, ineffective medications off the market, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said.

"The age when the world had effective drugs against infectious diseases but let millions die each year because they couldn't afford them is over," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in a statement.

The facility will initially be offered to 10 nations in Africa -- Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda -- as well as Cambodia.

Sharing the initial cost of 225 million dollars (172 million euros) over two years will be Britain and UNITAID, an international drug-buying facility created by France and supported by 27 other nations.

The Global Fund will manage the facility.

Spread by mosquitos in tropical regions, and most notably in poorer developing countries, malaria strikes about 250 million people a year -- one million of whom die, 90 percent of them children.

New drugs, known as artemisinin combination therapies, or ACTs, are available for free in public health clinics, the Global Fund said.

But because they are up to 40 times more expensive over the counter, many malaria sufferers opt for cheaper, older medicines that the malaria parasite has, over time, grown resistant to.

Unitaid said the current price of ACT treatment ranges from six to 10 dollars down to less than 20 cents.

"There is no reason any child should die of malaria anymore," said Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund.

"We have insecticide-impregnated bed nets to protect families from mosquitos and effective drugs to treat those who do fall ill. Now we only need to ensure that all who need these things get them."

Unitaid president Philippe Douste-Blazy called for an end to what he called the paradox of an African child dying every 30 seconds from malaria when effective medication exists to counter the illness.

Reversing the incidence of malaria and HIV-AIDS is among the Millenium Development Goals set out by the United Nations in 2000 which notably aim to reduce extreme poverty by half by 2015.
 

Date created : 2009-04-17

COMMENT(S)