Malaria afflicts millions in low- and middle-income countries and is a top public-health concerns. It causes over 1 million deaths and more than 500 million clinical cases each year. The disease also takes a high toll on household productivity and economic development. The disease is preventable, curable, and controllable on a large scale, with good returns on investment. The Bank is a founding partner of the Global Partnership to Roll Back Malaria (RBM).
Following the FY05 launch of the Global Strategy and Booster Program for malaria control, the Program is now underway in the Africa region, starting with a 3-year (2005-08) intensive phase. In FY06, the Bank committed US$167 million through eight operations in Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Niger, Zambia and the Senegal River Basin. Of the US$500 million target for the intensive phase, we are on track to commit a total of US$427.5 million by the end of FY08.
With the increase in drug-resistant malaria, the problem is getting worse in many places; at US$1–2 per course of treatment, the new and effective drugs are 10–20 times more expensive than the older drugs. Together with multiple partners, we are exploring ways to improve rapidly the affordability and access to a new generation of antimalarial drugs, the artemisinin-based combination therapy.
A Final Push To Eradicate Polio From The World
Working in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International and the United Nations Foundation, the Bank has provided additional funds to support the final push to eradicate poliomyelitis from the world. Through the Investment Partnership for Polio, the Bank provides concessional loans to countries to purchase polio vaccine. The Gates Foundation and United Nations Foundation (with funds from Rotary International and the U. S. Centers for Disease Control) have contributed over US$77 million to trust funds to turn these concessional loans into grants once programs have been completed successfully. The Bank has now launched polio projects in Pakistan totaling US$88 million and Nigeria US$79 million
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