Secretariat Urges Pacific Nations To Address Malaria

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Looming drop in aid means local governments must boost efforts

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 6, 2012) – The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says governments in some Pacific countries need to invest more in the prevention and treatment of malaria.

At a conference in Sydney the Australian Government announced it will provide more than 20 million U.S. dollars for malaria programs in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

The Director-General of the Secretariat Dr. Jimmie Rodgers says the new funding will help.

But he says local governments also need to step up their efforts because there is going to be a big drop in overseas funding soon.

Dr. Rodgers says the time to act is now because Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have a real chance of eradicating the disease and PNG isn’t far behind.

"It’s a larger country and it might take them a little it longer than the other two Melanesian countries to eradicate malaria. But what I’m saying is the Australian commitment is coming at the right time when the other major funding window at this time remains uncertain of going beyond 2014"

Dr. Jimmie Rodgers says the gains made in malaria treatment and prevention could be reversed if funding drops.

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