News / Health

    Malaria Risk Spikes for World's Poorest Children

    Children living along the Thai-Burma border come to a malaria clinic in Sai Yoke district, Kanchanaburi Province, to get tested, October 26,2012.
    Children living along the Thai-Burma border come to a malaria clinic in Sai Yoke district, Kanchanaburi Province, to get tested, October 26,2012.
    Selah Hennessy
    The poorest children in the world's most impoverished communities are twice as likely to contract malaria as the least poor, according to a new study published in the Lancet medical journal Wednesday.

    Researchers say the study, led by Britain’s Durham University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggests that alleviating poverty could protect children from malaria.

    Durham University Professor Steve Lindsay, who led the research, says the study highlights a possible new approach to tackling the often fatal mosquito-borne disease.
     
    “What is novel about this is thinking about malaria not just through getting bed nets out or better medicines," Lindsay said. "But we can actually improve or reduce malaria by assisting development in these communities.”

    Young girl with malaria rests in a clinic in South Sudanese state of Nothern Bahr el Ghazal.Young girl with malaria rests in a clinic in South Sudanese state of Nothern Bahr el Ghazal.
    x
    Young girl with malaria rests in a clinic in South Sudanese state of Nothern Bahr el Ghazal.
    Young girl with malaria rests in a clinic in South Sudanese state of Nothern Bahr el Ghazal.
    The research published on Wednesday is based on an analysis of nearly 5,000 English-language studies published over the past three decades. Those studies were conducted in poor communities in Africa and Asia, focusing on children up to the age of 15.

    The youngsters were ranked by several factors including family assets, such as whether they have access to a bicycle or radio, levels of education, and skill sets.

    By linking levels of malaria to socio-economic status, the research finds that the poorest people are hit the hardest. As an example, Lindsay explains how  inadequate housing impacts the spread of malaria.

    “80 percent of malaria transmission occurs indoors at night," he said. "So if you have a nice house where it is not so leaky, you have got screening on the doors, and you may have a ceiling, then you will get fewer mosquitos coming indoors.”

    Other development factors also play a role, like eating a nutritious diet or having an education, which helps people make informed decisions about malaria prevention, said Lindsay. 

    The study is an attempt to unite the scientific and development communities, so that the two can work together to tackle malaria.

    “We are being a wee bit provocative here with our hypothesis," said Lindsay. "First of all, scientists need to look at what are the mechanisms for where development, in its broad sense, is protective. And then look at ways of intervening -- better housing, better education, helping to improve the general welfare of communities and how that might impact and reduce malaria.”

    More than 2.5 billion people are at risk of malaria. The disease is endemic in more than 100 countries around the world.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    What Your First Name Says About Who You Support for President

    Bobby, Betty and Curtis tend to support Donald Trump while people named Juan, Liz or Mohammad are more likely to lean toward Hillary Clinton

    South Pole Diary: In Round-the-clock Darkness, Radiant Moon Shines Like the Sun

    You hear more and see more when the moon first comes out; it’s your senses in overdrive, tuning into a new world.

    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.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora