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Leaders unite against malaria

Leaders at the East Asia Summit yesterday signed a declaration to co-ordinate government and World Health Organization (WHO) efforts to control malaria and contain resistance to anti-malarial medicines

The Australia-sponsored declaration aims at “achieving a 75 per cent reduction in malaria cases and deaths as soon as possible and preferably by 2015”, a draft states.

Julia Gillard, prime minister of Australia, which has pledged $100 million to fight malaria in the Asia-Pacific over the next four years, said yesterday that “malaria is a disease which disproportionately affects the poor”, adding that in 2010 it killed 42,000 people in the region.

The declaration aims to ensure “co-ordinated efforts” to combat growing resistance to artemisinin, the drug most commonly used against malaria.

Last month, the WHO reported success using alternatives to artemisinin such as malarone in western Cambodia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justine Drennan at



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