Malaria: Half a million children die from it

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Dangerous tropical disease kills 500,000 people under the age of five every year

Around half a million children die every year from tropical malaria worldwide. This sad result emerges from the current World Malaria Report 2013 of the World Health Organization (WHO), which was presented to the public yesterday in Washington. According to WHO estimates, 3.4 billion people lived in risk areas in 2012, mainly in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Malaria in developing countries still a huge problem The current World Malaria Report 2013 from the World Health Organization (WHO) makes it clear: The tropical disease malaria transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes continues to be a huge problem, especially in developing countries, and it challenges year after year a hundred thousand fatalities. An estimated 3.4 billion people have lived in hazardous areas in the past year, and more than 200 million people have been directly affected by malaria. Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, but Asia, Latin America and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected, according to the WHO report. The most vulnerable groups are young children, babies and pregnant women. As the WHO further reports, it is estimated that a total of just under 630,000 people died from the disease - in most cases children under five in Africa.

“1,300 young lives are lost every day due to malaria”
“That means 1,300 young lives are lost every day due to malaria - a strong reminder that victory over the old enemy is still a long way off. The fact that so many people die from a mosquito bite is one of the greatest tragedies of the 21st century, ”said WHO director Margaret Chan when the report was released in Washington. In order to fight the disease effectively, however, the organization needed more financial resources. It is estimated that $ 5.1 billion a year will be needed for treatment and prophylaxis by 2020, but currently only about $ 2.5 billion would be available: "We need to fill the $ 2.6 billion annual gap to to achieve universal care and prevent malaria deaths, "said Fatoumata Traoré Nafo, Managing Director of the" Roll Back Malaria Partnership "-" This is our historic opportunity to defeat malaria, "said Nafo.

Share of distributed mosquito nets significantly increased According to the WHO, major advances have been made in the prevention and treatment of the disease in recent years - even if a large proportion of those affected still have no access to all treatment options. In particular, the number of mosquito nets distributed was increased significantly in 2012, so that 136 million nets could be issued to residents in malaria areas. A further increase (to around 200 million networks) is planned for 2014, which, according to the WHO, indicates "a real opportunity for a trend reversal". The supply of mosquito nets is a central problem in the fight against malaria - because only about every second household in the affected areas is adequately equipped with protective nets, so there is an urgent need to catch up.

Increasing resistance of the pathogen to the most effective malaria drug "Artemisinin" In addition to the containment of the disease is becoming more difficult due to increasing resistance of the malaria pathogen to the most effective malaria drug "Artemisinin" and the Anopheles mosquito against insecticides. According to the WHO, "Artemisinin resistance was discovered in four countries in Southeast Asia, insecticide resistance was found in at least 64 countries."

Accordingly, a lot still needs to be done in the next few years to achieve the WHO goal of first stopping the spread of malaria by 2015 and then gradually eradicating it completely. "The remarkable gains against malaria are still fragile," said WHO malaria director, Dr. Robert Newman. "Over the next 10 to 15 years, the world will need innovative tools and technologies and new strategic approaches to help To maintain progress and accelerate it further. " (No)

Image: Cornelia Menichelli /

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