Yemen receives $4 million from Global Fund to fight malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently donated $4 million to Yemen to support its National Malaria Control Program.

Yemeni Health Minister Ahmed Ahmed al-Ansi said the grant would aid in bridging a financial gap for the country's malaria control programs in 2013 and 2014. Yemen has made significant progress in fighting malaria in recent years and approval from the Global Fund's board of directors is seen as recognition for its efforts, reports.

Al-Ansi said in recent years Yemen has managed to reduce infection rates and eradicate the illness from some areas, including Wadi Hadramout.

Malaria is considered to one of the country's biggest health challenges, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Nearly 60 percent of the country's population of 19.7 million is at risk of infection by the mosquito-borne illness.

"Malaria has been a major health challenge for some decades," said Yemeni Public Health and Population Minister Mohammed al-Nomi said, reports.

Dr. Mohammed Khalifah, an expert on malaria from the World Health Organization said despite progress, Yemen is one of the Middle East's most malaria-affected countries, with approximately 800,000 cases per year. The illness is usually widespread in tropical regions.