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The World Health Organisation's Roll Back Malaria programme was launched in 1998 and pledged to halve malaria deaths by 2010. But annual deaths from malaria worldwide are now higher then when the initiative began.

Only a massive increase of donor aid can save the scheme, according to Gavin Yamey writing in the British Medical Journal. He calls for a new era of "malaria activism" that demands greater contributions from aid agencies in the same way that AIDS activism has pressurised donors into funding HIV combination therapy.

He also advocates a reintroduction of the insecticide DDT, a "dirty word in the malaria world", as a tool for controlling malarial mosquitoes.

Link to full editorial in the British Medical Journal

Reference: British Medical Journal 328, 1086 (2004)