Former US president Bill Clinton launched a programme Sunday aimed at making subsidised malaria drugs available in Tanzania, in a pilot scheme that could spread to the rest of Africa.
Clinton said manufacturers of artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) drugs will receive subsidy which will enable patients to buy the drugs 90 percent cheaper than the current market price.
'No one should die of malaria. We are here to save people from dying of malaria,' Clinton said at a public meeting at Pungu Kajiungeni, on the outskirts of Tanzania's commercial capital.
Malaria, caused by a parasite carried by mosquitoes, kills up to 100,000 Tanzanians annually, mostly pregnant women and children. The global toll is three million people.
The cost of ACT drugs is prohibitive for most Africans and although some pharmaceutical firms have slashed the price when the drug is used in the public sector, most people on the continent buy their medicine privately.
Clinton is on an African tour that has already taken him to South Africa, Malawi and Zambia.
In Lusaka Saturday, the former president said his Bill Clinton Foundation had secured a deal for Zambia to access cheap HIV/AIDS drugs.