Britain, Bill Gates unveil billion dollar initiative to fight malaria

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Bill Gates answers questions after giving a lecture on international aid to parliamentarians and guests in the Robing Room of the House of Lords in the Palace of Westminster, London November 10, 2014.   REUTERS/Tim Ireland/Pool

The British government and billionaire Bill Gates have recently pledged 3 billion pounds ($4.3 bln) to help end deaths from malaria in the next 15 years, describing it as the “world’s deadliest killer”.
British Chancellor George Osborne and the Microsoft founder said the money would help ramp up efforts to fight the mosquito-borne disease which killed about 438,000 people last year and infected more than 210 million people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“When it comes to human tragedy, no creature comes close to the devastation caused by the mosquito. We both believe that a malaria-free world has to be one of the highest global health priorities.”
Britain will invest 500 million pounds ($715 mln) a year over the next five years in the joint fund, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation $200 mln this year, with similar annual donations to follow.
The fund will support research and development for malaria and accelerate regional malaria elimination efforts.
Between 2000 and 2015, malaria deaths fell by 60 percent globally, and the WHO has set a target to reduce the number of malaria cases and deaths by at least 90 percent by 2030.

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