Britain creates £1bn fund to tackle malaria

The new fund will be named after Sir Ronald Ross, who discovered malaria was transmitted via mosquitoes. Credit: Radlo Okapl/Flickr Creative Commons

Britain is to fund a £1 billion scheme to tackle malaria and other tropical diseases in the name of the pioneering British scientist who discovered it was transmitted by mosquitoes - Sir Ronald Ross.

The Ross fund, also supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is part of a Government effort to show Britain's aid money is being targeted towards causes that directly threaten the country's national security.

Sir Ronald Ross made the ground-breaking discovery on malaria transmission while working in the Indian Medical Service, becoming the UK's first Nobel prize winner in 1902.

he fund is announced in conjunction with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. Credit: PA

Of the £1 billion, £305 million is focused on malaria and other infectious diseases such as TB, including the development of new drugs, diagnostics and insecticides.

Another £188 million will help tackle "diseases of epidemic potential" such as Ebola; £200 million will be spent on "neglected tropical diseases"; and £310 million will be targeted at "drug resistant infections".

Microsoft founder Gates - who with his wife Melinda has given away more than £25 billion through the Foundation - said:

The overseas aid budget is protected from public spending cuts.