The donation is a significant boost to the battle against the mosquito-borne disease, which kills around one million people a year, the majority in Africa.

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While the search for an AIDS vaccine costs $A 600 million a year, only $A 90 million is spent on Malaria vaccine research.

Mr Gates, the world’s richest businessman, announced the largest ever single donation towards fighting Malaria on a visit to Mozambique.

Bill Gates and his wife Melinda visited a treatment and research centre to see for themselves the human cost of the disease.

The centre is in Manhica, a rural village 80 kilometres north of the capital Maputo is testing a new treatment aimed at reducing the number of infant sufferers.

In sub-Saharan Africa the disease kills 3,000 children every day. Pregnant women are also vulnerable to the disease, which is curable if diagnosed early.

“It’s very exciting to come here in Mozambique to see this vaccine trial, the first of its kind, with over three thousand children now trying the medicine that can reduce the burden of Malaria quite substantially,” said Mr Gates.

But the Microsoft chairman added that there was still a lot of work to be done. “The world needs more attention to this disease,” he said.

The money will be used to provide three research grants:

·To develop a vaccine

·To reduce the number of infections in babies

·To develop new medicines to combat drug-resistant strains of the disease.

Up to 80 per cent of Malaria strains in some parts of Africa are now resistant to traditional treatments and the disease is killing more people now than it did 30 years ago.

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