Bioethics News

Malaria. 50% decrease in the number of infected individuals in Africa

 “Global malaria control is one of the great public health success stories of the last 15 years”

A study by the University of Oxford (Nature doi:10.1038/nature15535) estimates that 663 million cases of malaria have been averted in the last 15 years. This has been achieved after implementing three types of measures: a) 68% of the reduction was due to the distribution of 1000 million mosquito nets; b) 22% can be attributed to Artemisia and c) 10% due to using sprays in houses.

These measures have led to a 50% decrease in the number of infected individuals in Africa.

Not only have infections fallen, but the number of deaths has dropped as well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the death rate has fallen by 60% since the year 2000, and more than 6 million human lives have been saved.

Margaret Chan, director general of the WHO says that “Global malaria control is one of the great public health success stories of the last 15 years” (BBC News website, 17 Sept 2015). She continues, “It’s a sign that our strategies are on target, and that we can beat this ancient killer, which still claims hundreds of thousands of lives, mostly children, each year”.

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