WHO praises world leaders' support for malaria plan

The World Health Organization lauded the commitment by political leaders in Cambodia to support the drive against malaria in the region on Friday at the 7th East Asia Summit.

World leaders, including President Barack Obama, pledged governmental support to reduce malaria cases by 75 percent by 2015 and to contain antimalarial medicine resistance. The meeting in Phnom Penh showed the WHO's role in working with nations to develop responses to malaria control and elimination, the Jet reports.

"We see the call to action by the leaders in Phnom Penh as a watershed moment in our struggle," Shin Young-soo, the WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, said, according to the Jet. "The pledge in Phnom Penh comes on the back of a number of welcome developments in recent months that have given a significant boost to our efforts."

Attending the meeting were leaders of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, along with the heads of the Russian Federation, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Japan, India, China and Australia. The leaders expressed support for the WHO Global Plan for Artemisinin Resistance Containment.

"This cooperation is a vivid reflection of the seriousness with which WHO and its partners view the threat from artemisinin resistance," Young-soo said, according to the Jet. "The forces are coming together at the right time. We now have a genuine opportunity to put malaria on the run."