WHO scales up its efforts to counter malaria

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On the eve of World Malaria Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced it will intensify its efforts to prevent malaria. 

By: DAAF BORREN

These days, an estimated 90% of the global malaria burden is carried by countries in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Despite the fact that since 2001 over 663 million cases have been averted, malaria still claims the lives of 430.000 people on an annual basis.

Malaria_world_map-Deaths_per_million_persons-WHO2012

Deaths from malaria (WHO 2012)

As a result of effective prevention approaches, the rate of new cases fell by 21% between 2010 and 2015, while malaria’s death rates fell by 29%. However, significant improvement in the efficient prevention of malaria is deemed necessary as an estimated 43% of people in Africa – still at risk of malaria – are insufficiently protected. The WHO therefore calls to drastically ‘close the gap’ and increasingly protect the vulnerable, like toddlers, infants and pregnant women, who bear the greatest burden of malaria these days.

One the WHO’s objectives for coming year, is the research and testing of a new vaccine against the by mosquitos diffused disease. When tests in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi (chosen on malaria density) proof to be successful, the vaccine will be distributed over other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world.

The WHO hopes to save the lives of tens of thousands with ‘Mosquirix‘ – the name of the vaccine –  which is developed by a British pharmaceutical company. Lets hope the vaccine brings the 2020 elimination target of malaria, set by the WHO, one step closer.

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