Source Pravda.Ru

Bush calls for $1.2 billion to cut malaria deaths, Africa calls for DDT

As malaria death rates rise in Africa and other parts of the third world, some Africans are demanding change. One thing they want is to be able to use DDT, or at least a reliable alternative. The U.S. offers money.

President George W. Bush on Thursday called for a $1.2 billion (Ђ1 billion) U.S. effort to cut deaths from malaria in Africa in half over five years, part of a range of new initiatives targeted at the continent's problems, reports AP.

"We know that large-scale action can defeat this disease in whole regions and the world must take action," Bush said in a wide-ranging speech on his Africa policy. "Together we can lift this threat and defeat this fear across the African continent."

President Bush told The Times of London, the U.S. government had a "great record" on Africa and was ready to do more for the continent, but did not provide specifics on what commitments, if any, he would make, notices AllHeadlineNews.com.

An American reader at The Telegraph’s forum supposed, that “when Bush talks about "smart aid," he means he wants something in return.”

The announcements about the aid to Africa came as Bush prepares to travel to Scotland next week for a meeting of Group of Eight - the world's seven major industrial democracies and Russia - that will focus on Africa.

Malaria is one of the top killers in Africa, and most of its victims are children. The ancient mosquito-borne disease infects as many as 400 million people worldwide, killing 1 million a year.

The malaria initiative aims to provide tens of millions to Tanzania, Uganda and Angola in the first year, adding at least four more countries in 2007 and at least five more in 2008 for an eventual total spending of $1.2 billion (Ђ1 billion), Bush said. The U.S. president said his proposal would eventually cover 175 million people in 15 nations most affected by the disease.

Because the disease is highly preventable, the money will pay for approaches such as providing insecticide-treated sleeping nets, encouraging greater use of insecticides indoors and financing a new generation of anti-malarial drugs. As resistance to other anti-malarial drugs has grown, the World Health Organization has recommended the use of artemisinin-based combination drug treatments to fight the disease.