MALARIA INITIATIVE LAUNCHES NEW SUB-SAHARAN PLAN

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U.S. President George W. Bush's Malaria Initiative, launched in July 2005, has pledged $1.25 billion to combat malaria in three countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region, where malaria is one of the leading causes of death.

Micheal Hollingdale, deputy director in the U.S. Office of Global Affairs, announced that the U.S. would increase resources for malaria in Angola, Tanzania and Uganda this year, then increase the plan to include four more African countries in 2007. "By 2010, the U.S. government will provide an additional $500 million per year for malaria prevention and treatment," he said. "The goal of the [initiative] is to reduce malaria deaths by 50 percent in each of the target countries after three years of full implementation. This effort will eventually cover more than 175 million people in 15 or more of the most affected African countries."

At present, malaria accounts for 25 to40 percent of all outpatient visits in sub-Saharan Africa. Up to 20 percent of all hospital admissions and 15 percent of inpatient deaths are due to the disease.