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World Briefs: Officials debate scrapping malaria program
LONDON — The future of a pricey malaria program meant to provide cheap drugs for poor patients may be in jeopardy after health officials clashed over its effectiveness in two new reports.
In 2010, the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria was started by groups including U.N. agencies and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
It was a pilot project to subsidize artemesinin combination drugs, the most effective malaria treatment.
The initiative cost more than $460 million, mostly funded by the Global Fund, UNITAID, and the Canadian and British governments.
It was tested in eight countries: Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Most of the drugs bought were sold in the private sector, where there are few controls on who gets them.
Last week, a report by Oxfam, an international charity, labeled the program a failure and said there was no proof it had saved lives because officials didn’t track who received the drugs.
Unemployment rises to new record
LONDON — Unemployment in the 17-country eurozone hit a record high of 11.6 percent in September, official figures showed Wednesday, a sign the economy is deteriorating as governments struggle to get a grip on their three-year debt crisis.
The rate reported by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, was up from an upwardly revised 11.5 percent in August.
In total, 18.49 million people were out of work in the eurozone in September, up 146,000 on the previous month, the biggest increase in three months.
While the eurozone’s unemployment rate has been rising steadily for the past year as the economy struggled with a financial crisis and government spending cuts, the U.S. has seen its equivalent rate fall to 7.8 percent. The latest U.S. figures are due Friday.
With the eurozone economy fading, most economists think unemployment will keep increasing over the coming months and that the deteriorating economic picture will soon spook investors again after a brief hiatus.
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