News / Health

    WHO Reports Fragile Progress Against Malaria

    Lisa Schlein

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that global malaria cases and deaths are down, but progress remains fragile.  This year's World Malaria Report finds global mortality rates have fallen by more than 25 percent since 2000, and by 33 percent in Africa, the region most heavily affected by the disease.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) says there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 106 endemic countries and territories in 2010.  Most of the cases and deaths occurred in the African Region.  WHO says globally, 85 percent of the victims were children under age five.

    The report finds 655,000 people died of malaria in 2010.  This is 36,000 lower than the year before. While this is good progress, WHO officials say these mortality figures are too high for a disease that is entirely preventable and treatable.  

    The director of WHO's Global Malaria Program, Robert Newman, attributes the steady progress being made in the fight against malaria to an increase in funding.  This past year, he says international malaria control programs received $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion in 2010.

    He says this money has allowed a major scale-up of malaria control measures, including insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying, diagnostic testing and effective treatments.

    "The number of insecticide-treated bed nets delivered to malaria-endemic countries in Africa increased from 88 million in 2009 to 145 million in 2010," said Newman.  "We can now say that an estimated 50 percent of households in Africa own at least one insecticide-treated bed net, which is up from just 3 percent at the beginning of the decade.  We need to stop sometimes and remember where we were 10 years ago.  It is a phenomenal improvement.  And 96 percent of people who have access to a bad net actually use it.  So these nets when they get into the hands of people, it makes a huge difference to their lives."  

    Newman says indoor residual spraying now reaches an estimated 185 million people worldwide, 85 million in the WHO African region.

    Newman adds that more than twice as many people in Africa in 2010 received rapid diagnostic tests for malaria than was the case five years earlier.  And many more people than before are receiving drugs to treat the disease.

    But Newman warns nations have to be vigilant against emerging threats.  

    "Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinins, to which we have spoken to you in the past, continues," Newman noted.  "We do now have additional foci suspected in Vietnam and Myanmar, and those are concerning.  But we do not have rapid spread around the globe.  We have no evidence of artemisinin resistance in Africa at the current time.  The problem of mosquito resistance to insecticides does appear to be growing.  We have 45 countries now identified with resistance to at least one of the four classes of insecticide that we use to fight malaria, and 27 of those sites are in sub-Saharan Africa."  

    Newman says malaria control interventions work.  But unless the problem of malaria deaths is fully tackled in the six countries with the greatest burden, then the world will not be able to reach the ambitious goal of achieving near zero malaria deaths by 2015.

    He notes the six countries, Nigeria, Mali, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, and Ivory Coast, account for 60 percent of malaria deaths worldwide.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora