from the Daily News
FORMER US President Bill Clinton declared in Dar es Salaam yesterday that no person should die of malaria, the major tropical killer disease for which simple remedies exist.
Speaking at the launch of an Artemisinin based Combination Therapies (ACT) pilot programme, minutes after he arrived in the Tanzanian capital, Mr Clinton said the cost of drugs will be subsidised by 95 per cent to make even the poorest of the poor afford treatment.
“No one should die of malaria. We are here to save people from dying of malaria,” he insisted in an open address to thousands of people at Pugu Kajiungeni on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam.
Contemporary America’s most iconic president turned philanthropist, Mr Clinton has formed the Clinton Foundation for HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) to combat the killer disease which has no cure, Tuberculosis and malaria.
The scheme could finally serve as a model for treating malaria in Africa as a whole, where people die basically of poverty and neglect. Malaria is caused by parasites carried by mosquitoes which in other parts of the world have been genetically altered not to transmit the disease.
An ACT dose sells for 300/- (dollars 25 cents) in government hospitals and dollars 10 (about 12,500/-) in private chemists, which is colossal amount for a majority of persons living under two dollars a day. The former president checked out drug prices for first hand experience from three pharmacies and said it was important to engage the private sector in the war against disease.
However, the programme will first be tried out in Maswa district, Shinyanga region and Kongwa district in Dodoma region. It was not immediately clear what criterion was used to pick the two districts.
Earlier, the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Professor David Mwakyusa, said an estimated 100,000 people died of malaria every year in Tanzania, most being pregnant women and under five children.The programme is a joint effort with the government of Tanzania, Population Services International (PSI) and receives support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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