News / Health

WHO: Investing In Malaria Makes Sense

Laborer sleeps on a makeshift bed covered with a mosquito net on a hot summer morning, New Delhi, May 23, 2013.
Laborer sleeps on a makeshift bed covered with a mosquito net on a hot summer morning, New Delhi, May 23, 2013.
Lisa Schlein
In marking World Malaria Day on April 25, the World Health Organization says investing in malaria control is good health policy and makes good economic sense.

Great progress is being made in controlling malarial infection, and WHO officials think now is the time to capitalize on recent successes in the battle against this preventable and treatable disease.
Malaria

-About 3.3 billion people, half the world's population, are at risk of malaria
-People living in the poorest sub-tropical and tropical countries are the most susceptible
-Caused by mosquito-borne parasite
-Killed 627,000 people in 2012, mostly African children
-Kills by restricting blood flow to vital organs
-Symptoms include fever, headache and vomiting

Source: WHO
Dr. John Reeder, the WHO’s acting director of  Global Malaria Program, says international funding for malaria control has increased from $100 million in 2000 to $1.94 billion in 2012, and that during that time malaria-related death rates have decreased 42 percent globally and 49 percent in Africa.

More than three million children’s lives have been saved, he says.

“So, clearly, ramping up investment in malaria can work and does work," he said. "And we have seen things like the vast expansion of bed net programs. Over the last couple of years, it has gone from 70 million nets that went out in 2012 to 136 million last year. This year there is going to be something in the region of 200 million nets put out there."
Malaria mortality rates, by age groups, 2000-2012Malaria mortality rates, by age groups, 2000-2012
x
Malaria mortality rates, by age groups, 2000-2012
Malaria mortality rates, by age groups, 2000-2012
Despite this progress, however, malaria remains a worldwide scourge, especially in Africa, where WHO figures show 207 million cases, including 627,000 deaths. The U.N. health agency says 90 percent of these deaths have occurred among children under five in sub-Saharan Africa.

WHO notes 80 percent of malaria cases are found in 18 African countries, with Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounting for half of those cases. It says malaria disproportionately affects the poor and thwarts African economies.

It estimates Africa loses $12 billion each year in lost productivity, and says the disease places a heavy burden on national health systems, accounting for as much as 40 percent of public health expenditure in some countries.

Reeder says it is possible to slow the spread of the disease. But, he notes, one of the problems affecting malaria control is the difficulty of delivering effective programs in the context of a weakened health system.

“So, malaria in itself is a disease, which has got particular needs and really needs an investment," he said. "But part of that investment really has got to be in strengthening health systems in a more general way."

Reeder says growing resistance to Artemisnin-based Combination Therapies, the most effective anti-malarials on the market, could unravel the hard-won gains to date.

Efforts to contain resistance and research and development of new tools to control the disease are important, he says, even if it requires lots of money.

The International Roll Back Malaria Program will need $5.1 billion every year through 2020 to provide insecticide-treated nets, indoor spraying, quick diagnostic testing and treatment for all those at risk.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More