Get filmstars, cricketers to campaign against malaria: Expert

Kolkata, Oct 19 : Amid expectations of the world's first malaria vaccine by 2015, a leading British expert Saturday stressed on collective efforts to prevent the disease and hoped Indian pharma companies would come out with an affordable product. He also hoped cricketers and filmstars would join the campaign to prevent malaria.

"The real solution is concerted community effort, and not just public health workers or the doctors or the authority. Everyone joins together...," said David Warrell, international director at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

He was addressing reporters at the Medicon International 2013, organised by RCP in collaboration with Peerless Hospital and B.K.Roy Foundation here.

"It could be a cricketer or a Bollywood actress to head up the campaign...provided you get everyone to understand which factors give rise to this disease," said Warrell, who has worked as a physician, a teacher and researcher in many countries.

According to World health Organisation (WHO), Africa is the most affected with about 90 percent of deaths due to the mosquito-borne parasitic disease.

In south-east Asia, the second most-affected region in the world, India has the highest number of malaria cases (an estimated 24 million cases per year), followed by Indonesia and Myanmar.

Against the backdrop of having a malaria vaccine, Warrell expressed confidence that Indian drug and vaccine manufacturing companies could come out with an affordable vaccine.

"There are two aspects, there is scientific research and the manufacturing. Indian drug manufacturing companies have shown themselves to be very good at manufacturing drugs and vaccines. It is well able to implement all these things, but first they have got to come up with an effective formula, adopt that and produce it at a certainly much lower cost," he explained.

--IANS (Posted on 20-10-2013)

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