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Int'l health experts hail China's role in fight against malaria

(Xinhua)    12:41, April 25, 2015

GENEVA, April 24-- On the occasion of World Malaria Day on April 25, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) hailed China's role in fighting against malaria.

China is the biggest producer of the drug artemisinin, which has benefited millions of people with malaria.

"China is very important for us for different reasons," Herve Verhoosel, the head of the RBM office at the United Nations in New York told Xinhua.

Artemisinin, also known as Qinghaosu was first isolated from the Chinese traditional plant artemisia by Chinese scientists. The drug registers the most rapid action of all current drugs against malaria.

Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are often used to cure malaria, a global disease which caused 584,000 related deaths in 2013.

Verhoosel said: "ACTs is the only medicine to work well and is the best one" in fighting malaria.

Richard Cibulskis, coordinator for strategy, economics and elimination at the WHO estimated that approximately 240 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have benefited from ACT treatment since 2000.

Verhoosel said: "we have no excuse to have more than 575,000 people dying every year, 95 percent of those cases are children under five and mostly in Africa."

He noted the number of deaths caused by malaria decreased 50 percent since 2000 and 64 of the 98 epidemic countries were on track to potentially meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals when it came to curbing malaria.

He also called for more money, commitment and political leadership as the "last push" to finish the job.

Founded in 1998, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership is a global framework for coordinated action against malaria.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Wang Ao,Bianji)

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