Fight vs malaria gets boost from Australian aid

Posted at 02/20/14 7:41 PM

MANILA – The government of Australia has pledged to deliver $16.3 million (about P733 million) in funds to fight malaria in the Asia Pacific region.

Australia’s commitment will add to the $19.4 million pledge from the government of the United Kingdom to the Regional Malaria and Other Communicable Disease Threats Trust Fund.

The fund, administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will help developing member countries, including the Philippines, reduce the number of malaria cases and deaths in the region, and control the spread of drug resistant malaria in the Mekong region.

The fund builds on the formation of the Asia-Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance (APLMA), which expands the fight against malaria beyond the health sector into other sectors like trade, transportation, agriculture, mining and forestry.

APLMA aims to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 75 percent by 2015 and to support the elimination of the disease in Asia and the Pacific.

Aside from the Philippines, other members of APLMA include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

An estimated 36 million cases and around 49,000 malaria-related deaths annually are reported in the Asia and the Pacific.