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Malaria drugs finance scheme concern

24th October 2012

The British charity Oxfam has raised concerns about an international scheme to tackle malaria.


It has cast doubt on the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) initiative which aims to boost the provision of the most effective treatment for malaria and has received funding from the UK government.

While the independent body behind AMFm says it has improved access to drugs and reduced prices, Oxfam says there is no evidence it has helped save lives.

The scheme was introduced three years ago by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria to help provide greater access to combination therapy for malaria, particularly through private-sector drug retailers in developing countries.

However, Oxfam’s senior health policy advisor Dr Mohga Kamal Yanni it was dangerous to “to pursue a scheme that doesn’t help those people who need it the most.”

He said: “The AMFm is a dangerous distraction from genuine solutions like investing in community health workers, who have slashed the number of malarial deaths in countries such as Zambia and Ethiopia. The Global Fund board must act on the evidence and put a stop to the AMFm now.”

The Global Fund rejected Oxfam’s claims and said the programme was getting life-saving medicine to those who needed it most and were cheaper.

“Before the launch of AMFm, life-saving malaria treatments cost up to 20 times as much,” it added in a statement.

The Department for International Development has allocated £71.6m to the scheme over three years. AMFm is also supported by the Canadian government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


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Article Information

Title: Malaria drugs finance scheme concern
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 23018
Date Added: 24th Oct 2012


BBC News

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