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Malaria: Facts 2015

Updated on July 4, 2016
Global decrease in Malaria cases and deaths
Global decrease in Malaria cases and deaths | Source

World Malaria Report 2015

According to the World Malaria Report the number of malaria deaths decreased from an
estimated 839 000 in 2000 to an estimated 438 000 in 2015, which is a 48% decline.

Most deaths in 2015 were in the WHO African Region (90%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region (7%) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%).

The number of malaria deaths in children aged under 5 years is estimated to have decreased from 723 000 globally in 2000 to 306 000 in 2015. The biggest decline was in the WHO African Region, where the estimated number of deaths fell from 694 000 in 2000 to 292 000 in 2015. This means that malaria is no longer the leading cause of death among children in sub-Saharan Africa, but is now the fourth highest, accounting for 10% of child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa.

One issue is of course that not all countries in Africa has reliable case data on malaria

Even so, malaria remains a serious disease in sub-Saharan Africa, taking the life of a child every 2 minutes.

Malaria Africa
Malaria Africa | Source
Anopheles mosquito
Anopheles mosquito | Source

Malaria facts

Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite and is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. There are five different types of parasites that infect humans: P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae, and P. knowlesi. Of these, P. falciparum and P. vivax are the most prevalent, and P. falciparum is the most dangerous, with the highest rates of complications and mortality. This is also the parasite prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Malaria occur more commonly in hot, tropical areas.

Malaria infection during pregnancy carries substantial risks for the mother, the fetus and the newborn baby.

There is also evidence of a negative interaction between HIV and Malaria. HIV-infected adults are at increased risk of complicated and severe malaria and death. There is also the possibility that antimalarial treatment may be less reliable in HIV-infected adults with low CD4-cell counts compared to those not infected with HIV.

People living in endemic areas may develop partial immunity to disease following repeated infections. According to Johanna Daily (Malaria and HIV) these "immune" individuals are not immune to the infection. They still develop parasitemia, but the severity of clinical symptoms may be limited. This makes it difficult to assess the number of malaria cases.

Endemic Malaria areas
Endemic Malaria areas | Source

The fight against malaria in Africa

The Pan-Africa Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) is an international organization of research scientists who are dedicated to elimination of diseases like malaria. They aim to create awareness of control, prevention and treatment across the continent. PAMCA was established in Kenya, and has offices located in Tanzania and Nigeria.

Dr Prosper Chaki from Tanzania: working to eliminate malaria


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