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Recent scientific advances in the fight against malaria include a promising vaccine, a highly effective drug to treat the disease, and insecticide-treated bed nets that last for five years. But the cost of these new tools continues to exclude the poor from benefiting from them.

This article in Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper examines the paradox. It describes recent initiatives to address this situation, including plans to makes drugs available at low costs, and the UK government's intention to buy vaccines in advance of their production to ensure a stable market (see Britain to create market for AIDS and malaria vaccines).

Some argue that subsidised public health initiatives will require permanent funding from rich nations. But the head of the World Health Organisation's communicable disease programmes says that by protecting public health in this way can reduce poverty and dependence on foreign assistance.

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