£1 billion fund set up to fight malaria and other infectious diseases
Posted: 23 November 2015 | Victoria White
The Ross Fund includes £115 million to develop new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious disease resistance…
A new £1 billion fund has been set up to support the global fight against malaria and other infectious diseases.
The Ross Fund, named after the Nobel Laureate who discovered that mosquitoes transmit malaria, Sir Ronald Ross, has been set up in a partnership between the UK government and the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
The £1 billion will include a £300 million package focused on malaria and other infectious diseases. This will include £115 million to develop new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides for malaria, TB and other infectious disease resistance. Research and development into products for infectious diseases will receive £100 million.
Good progress has been made to stop the spread of malaria – malaria deaths have fallen by a third since 2010. But there is still more to do.
Commenting on the announcement, Chancellor George Osborne said: “Eradicating malaria would save 11 million lives so today’s announcement of the £1 billion Ross Fund is an important step to help tackle this global disease.
“Our commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on international aid means Britain can continue to play its part in the fight against malaria and working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will help us in our joint ambition to see an end this global disease in our lifetimes.”
Malaria causes one in ten child deaths in Africa
Speaking in Seattle, Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said: “We are proud to be partnering with the Chancellor, the British people, and leading research institutes and universities around the UK in this endeavour to end malaria and combat neglected tropical diseases and future pandemics.”
Bill Gates continued: “With the combined skill and expertise of British scientists; leveraging the weight of both public and private financing; and the continued leadership of George Osborne and the UK, today’s announcement of the Ross Fund will play a key role in reaching that goal.”
International Development Secretary Justine Greening added, “Malaria still causes one in ten child deaths in Africa and costs the continent’s economies around £8 billion every year.
“A healthy, prosperous world is in Britain’s interest and the prevention of deadly diseases is a smart investment.”