ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Can We Win The Fight Against Malaria?

Updated on November 25, 2019
elnavann profile image

Elna has a Hons in Sociology and Philosophy, and writes on a variety of topics.

The fever tree

Until the cause of malaria was identified, people believed this tree to contribute in some way  to the sickness
Until the cause of malaria was identified, people believed this tree to contribute in some way to the sickness | Source

Malaria in South Africa

As a child growing up in South Africa in the 60s, malaria was a disease well known to us. When you consulted a doctor about a fever, the doctor would always ask whether you visited a low-veld area so that he could eliminate the possibility of malaria.

Malaria was part of our family stories. My grandmother and grandfather both still had sporadic fevers (both of them dreaming of a red dog before its onset, which us grandchildren found quite fascinating). Before the cause of malaria was identified, many people living in the low-veld identified some of the risks in terms of geography and built summer houses a bit higher up.

We also have a beautiful tree growing in the lowveld called Fever Tree or Koorsboom (Vachellia xanthophloea) named after the belief that malaria fever is somehow connected to the tree. South African researchers also contributed to the fight against malaria, for instance the well-known Dr Siegfried Annecke and Botha de Meillon.

World Malaria Report 2017

In 2017, there were an estimated 435 000 deaths from malaria globally, compared with 451 000 estimated deaths in 2016, and 607 000 in 2010.

Children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria. In 2017, they accounted for 61% (266 000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.

The WHO African Region accounted for 93% of all malaria deaths in 2017.

All WHO regions except the WHO Region of the Americas recorded reductions in mortality in 2017 compared with 2010. The largest declines occurred in the WHO regions of South- East Asia (54%), Africa (40%) and the Eastern Mediterranean (10%). Despite these gains, the malaria mortality reduction rate has also slowed since 2015.

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

Malaria is most prevalent in the Africa Region

Most malaria cases in 2017 were in the WHO African Region (200 million or 92%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region with 5% of the cases and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region with 2%. 93% of malaria related deaths were in the WHO Africa region.

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

Malaria cases Sub-Sahara Africa and other regions


Malaria research in South Africa in the 40s


World Health Assembly Resolution

The World Health Assembly took a resolution in May 2013 to make a focused effort to reduce malaria cases and malaria deaths, and set targets for 2030.

The resolution can be found at #mce_temp_url#. In this Resolution, the global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 is adopted.

Since 90% of deaths occur in Africa, this is mostly directed to Africa, its health systems, and its leaders. The global community is urged to support the funding and implementation of the strategy.


Eliminating Malaria

The Strategy sets goals to aimed at dramatically lowering the global malaria burden in the next 15 years. They include:


Countries are not all at the same level in terms of malaria control:

  • High or moderate rates of malaria transmission: countries must aim to maximize the reduction of malaria cases and deaths.
  • Countries approaching elimination: need enhanced surveillance systems to ensure that every infection is detected, treated and reported to a national malaria registry.

5 Key principles

The Strategy gives 5 key principles for action:

  • Tailored responses: What works in one country, may not work in another and it is important that each country develops its own research-based responses.
  • Country ownership and leadership: For elimination efforts to succeed, government needs to take a strong stance, together with the affected communities and crossborder collaboration.
  • Strengthened surveillance. Malaria surveillance assist the planning of programmes and responses to changes in trends.
  • Equity in access to health services.A high proportion of cases are found among vulnerable populations living in remote areas. Progress can be accelerated by ensuring access to malaria prevention and treatment for all at-risk groups, regardless of their legal status.
  • Innovation in malaria control tools. Eliminating malaria will require new tools such as: development of improved diagnostics, more effective medicines, new insecticides and innovative vector control tools.

"The effectiveness of insecticide-based vector control is threatened as malaria mosquitoes develop resistance to the insecticides"


Some special issues in Africa

Why is the problem of malaria worse in Africa?

There are many reasons of course, one of which is the tropical climate of the continent. The reason why Lesotho has fewer problems than a tropical area like Rwanda clearly has to do with its geography.

Of course we have the usual culprits:

  • Poverty which also implies challenges to access health systems, implementing simple solutions like nets, insecticides
  • Management of water resources
  • Inadequate health system
  • Inadequate surveillance systems
  • People who have gained some immunity to malaria and don't have visible symptoms, but are nevertheless affected
  • Congenital transmission from mother to child
  • Cross-border challenges

Even so, the continent has more than halved child deaths (children younger than 5 years) from malaria between 2000 and 2015.

Your country

Does your country have high risk of malaria incidence?

See results

Introduction to Malaria


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 months ago

      Thank you for your answer.

    • elnavann profile imageAUTHOR


      4 months ago from South Africa

      @Robert. Thank you for the question. That is a very difficult one. On the one hand residual spraying of DDT is one of the most effective ways to combat malaria but it has known implications for health and environment. I support the notion that the use should be reduced. If at all possible, it should be replaced by less toxic chemicals and one hopes that research will come up with more effective alternatives.

      There is no one-strategy-fits-all solution and remains a paradox for decision-making.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      4 months ago

      It's terrible it's still a problem. Do you think bringing back DDT would be effective in dealing with malaria?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)