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China’s Tu calls for global efforts on fighting malaria

Chinese Nobel laureate Tu Youyou has called for joint global efforts to tackle malaria.

On Oct 5, Eighty-four-year-old Chinese Scientist Tu Youyou was announced a winner of Nobel Prize in medicine, for creating an anti-malarial drug, an award may very well signal the start of a new trend.

“This award is an honor for Chinese scientist group and an approval for Chinese medicine research,” Tu said.

Tu’s research provides a novel therapy against this fatal disease, by extracting an anti-malarial drug from a herb mentioned in a Chinese traditional text. With their work and other public health measures, death rates from malaria have plunged 60 percent in the past 15 years.

“Traditional Chinese medicine is a great treasure, we can combine western and Chinese medical technology to find more potential medicine,” Tu said.

Despite a lower death rate, malaria still kills around half a million people a year. At a news conference at the Nobel Forum, Tu expressed her concerns about the possible further spread of malaria in the coming decade, and called for a global effort to put an end to it.

“I hope all of us can work under the WHO’s plan. Once malaria became more resistant to the drugs that we have now, it won’t be easy to create a new type of drug in another 10 years. If that happened, malaria would create an outbreak,” Tu said.

Tu will be presented with the coveted award Dec 10, along with the two other Medicine Prize laureates, Irish-born William Campbell and Japan’s Satoshi Omura.