Gates Foundation, South Africa Link to Combat HIV, TB, Malaria
January 31, 2014
This article was reported by Mail & Guardian.
The Mail & Guardian reported that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) would partner with South Africa's Medical Research Council's Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) unit and the University of Cape Town's Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3-D) on multi-year efforts to develop new drugs and vaccines for HIV, TB, and malaria. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS estimated that South Africa had approximately 6 million HIV-positive residents and a high prevalence of TB/HIV coinfection. The World Health Organization estimated there were 219 million malaria infections and 660,000 deaths worldwide during 2010. Most of the malaria deaths (90 percent) occurred in Africa, and children under five years of age had the highest malaria mortality.
SHIP would receive 125 million rand (R125-million) throughout the next three years for developing HIV and TB vaccines. The Gates Foundation funds would supplement R130-million from the Department of Science and Technology and R60-million from the National Department of Health.
H3-D would receive approximately R55-million throughout the next five years to develop drugs for TB and malaria. The Department of Science and Technology also allocated R50-million to H3-D for the effort.
Dr. Trevor Mundel, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program, affirmed that South Africa had the infrastructure and researchers necessary for the work. H3-D Founder and Director Professor Kelly Chibale noted that Africa needed to develop medicines for its own people, as experts estimated Africa's population would double by 2050.
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