Pandor keen to fund malaria research

The Science and Technology Ministry is willing to fork out money to help UCT with its malaria research.

Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor says she is willing to invest more money in malaria research.

This after the University of Cape Town (UCT)'s Science Department on Tuesday announced that it has found a single dose cure for malaria.

About one million people die from malaria annually and the disease is the fifth biggest cause of death globally.

But UCT researches say they are close to proving a cure.

They claim the new drug can block the parasite that causes the disease to be transferred from person to person via mosquitoes.

Pandor says she is willing to invest more in malaria research.

"This compound has been selected by Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) for further development. I've been told the candidate molecule is novel, potent and has the potential to have a significant impact on global malaria control and eradication."

The drug has proved effective in curing animals.

A human clinical trial is scheduled for 2013.