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Bill Gates Hopes $4bn 'Will Half Malaria Deaths'
 
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18-Apr-2018  
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Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has said his foundation and other donors will be announcing nearly $4bn (£2.8bn) of new funding aimed at halving the number of deaths from malaria.

After two decades of decline the disease is again becoming more common as mosquitoes develop resistance to existing medication.

Mr Gates spoke to the BBC as campaigners and health groups gather for a major malaria summit in London:

The summit commitment is to do our best to cut the cases in half again. And if we really target the high-burden areas and get these new tools out, get a little more resources behind this fight, we can get it all the way down to 200,000 deaths a year."

He said he wanted his money to improve the bed-nets used to help combat the spread of the disease and refine the mapping of where they should be located.

Another goal is to find a long-lasting vaccine. Mr Gates said the ultimate aim would be to wipe out malaria:

We understand the science a lot better, you know, the new tools like we can sequence the parasite, sequence the mosquito, understand where this resistance is coming from and how we can overcome it so I am optimistic that by spending the money in a targeted way, using the latest science, our goal over time - although it will take decades - is to also eradicate this disease."

He said market forces had an impact on what research money went where.

It's a real blessing that my children aren't at risk of these diseases. And it's an irony that when a disease is only affecting poor people, their voice in the market, because they don't have money, doesn't command a big research response and so that's where government and philanthropy, along with some enlightened companies like GSK have to join in and do this even though the reward is not the same as if this was in rich countries."
 
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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