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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid