A new £1bn Ross Fund will be created to eradicate malaria and other infectious diseases by UK Government in partnership with US philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates.
Highlights of Project:
- New drugs, Diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious diseases
- Improving biodefences and rapid response systems to fast-spreading epidemics such as Ebola
Each year nearly 500,000 children die from the disease and a billion people were infected with malaria says Chancellor George Osborne. He added that the government’s commitment to overseas aid helps to “promote our national security and interests around the world”.
The government is expected to continue spending 0.7% of GDP on overseas aid.
Earlier Nature journal reported that 663 million cases of malaria have been prevented in Africa as a result of concerted efforts to tackle the disease since 2000.
Researchers from Oxford University attributed the reduction mostly to bed nets. The drug artemisinin and spraying homes with insecticide also played a part.
The UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening said a “healthy, prosperous world is in Britain’s interest” and that preventing deadly diseases is a “smart investment”.