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When it comes to fighting infectious diseases, progress cannot be gauged by the availability of resources; the most important metric is the number of lives saved.According to the World Health Organization's most recent malaria report card, 219 million cases were reported in 2017, an increase of three million from the previous year.Data from the Consortium for Health Action a nonprofit group committed to eliminating incurable malaria in Southeast Asia show a high risk of drug-resistant malaria spreading from Asia to Sub-Saharan Africa, the world's most malaria-affected region.When infected Cambodian soldiers were deployed to Africa, as many may have been between 2010 and 2016, virulent strains of malaria were at risk of being spread.When those soldiers are stationed in Africa without malaria screening, the risk of deadly disease transmission may increase dramatically.First, a coordinated strategy is needed to target the disease in areas where transmission rates are highest, the so-called malaria islands.Second, global donors must recognize the urgency of the looming malaria pandemic. Barring a change of heart, philanthropic organizations especially the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be essential to filling the effective funding void, especially by offering financial incentives for implementing effective elimination operations.With the right level of support and coordination, we can eliminate multidrug-resistant falciparum malaria in Southeast Asia.
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