News / Africa

WHO Warns of Malaria Resurgence

A young girl with malaria rests in the inpatient ward of the Malualkon Primary Health Care Center in Malualkon, in the South Sudanese state of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, June 1, 2012.
A young girl with malaria rests in the inpatient ward of the Malualkon Primary Health Care Center in Malualkon, in the South Sudanese state of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, June 1, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
The World Health Organization warns there could be a resurgence of malaria in countries where much progress had been made over the past decade. The WHO has released its annual World Malaria Report, which warns of funding and resource shortfalls.


The WHO’s Richard Cidulskis says the past decade had seen a concerted effort by endemic countries, donors and others to “strengthen malaria control around the world.” He said many lives were saved.

“Tremendous progress in that we estimate there have been 1.1 million deaths averted from malaria. Those 1.1 million deaths, the majority of them, have been averted in the 10 highest burden countries in Africa. The other progress we’ve seen is 50 countries out of 99 with ongoing transmission are on track to meet international targets of reducing malaria incidence by 75 percent by 2015,” he said.

owever, those 50 countries represent only three percent - or seven million people – of the malaria cases that were estimated to have occurred in 2000. The WHO said the 2000 estimate is the benchmark against which progress is measured.

There had also been a large increase in the availability of rapid diagnostic tests and in artemisinin combination therapy.

Cidulskis is the WHO’s coordinator for strategy, economics and elimination in the Global Malaria Program.

He said, “One of the concerns is the amount of money available for malaria control seems to be plateauing. In previous years, we’ve seen it rise to a large extent year on year. In 2011, however, the amount of money for malaria control was actually less than in 2010 and amounted to $2.3 billion. That’s a lot of money, but it’s well short of the $5.1 billion that are needed to ensure everybody has access to malaria interventions.”

There are other concerns. The number of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets - delivered to endemic countries - has dropped from a high of 145 million in 2010 to 66 million in 2012. What’s more, the World Malaria Report said the “expansion of indoor residual spraying programs has leveled off, remaining at 11 percent of the population at risk.”

“If we don’t scale-up control operations in 2013, it is likely that we’ll have [a] major resurgence of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Cidulskis.

The WHO report said the malaria burden is concentrated in 14 endemic countries that account for 80 percent of malaria deaths. Most are in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo are the hardest hit in that region, while India is the most affected in South East Asia.

It’s estimated there are 219-million malaria cases worldwide.     About 660,000 people die every year from the disease.

“Each one of those cases and each one of those deaths is preventable,” he said.

Cidulskis said the leveling-off of funding is due in part to the global recession. But he also said most of the countries where malaria is endemic are poor. And while they’ve been increasing spending on control and treatment programs, their resources are limited.

The WHO report called for strengthening malaria surveillance programs and ensuring affected countries have all the medicine and bed nets they need.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid