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Success In Fighting Malaria Helping To Fuel Africa's Economic Growth, Reuters Reports

Reuters examines how the fight against malaria in Africa is helping to fuel the continent’s economic growth. “The number of malaria deaths has fallen dramatically in the last decade due to increased aid spending on basic items such as insecticide-treated bed nets and drugs, the World Health Organization (WHO) says,” the news agency writes, noting that an experimental vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline is showing prospect. The news agency discusses the efforts of AngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third largest gold producer, to prevent and treat malaria among its workers, which “‘made economic sense because of the absenteeism and the cost of medication,’ said Steve Knowles, the head of AngloGold’s anti-malaria operations.”

However, “Europe’s financial crisis and relatively sluggish rich-world growth have left a question mark over cash pools such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that have been complementing state and private sector efforts, threatening to unravel the gains made,” Reuters writes, adding, “But Knowles said many governments were becoming increasingly aware of the mathematics of beating malaria and starting to put their own programs in place.” Knowles said, “Now that they’re seeing the aid funding may not be there, it’s a bit of a wake-up call and governments are looking to do it themselves,” and added that a vaccine would make a “huge” difference, according to the news agency (Cropley, 6/21).