Thursday 24 September 2009

Battling malaria

Fourteen African countries have joined forces to fight malaria, which still kills nearly 900,000 people a year – most of them young children in sub-Saharan Afirca – that’s more than AIDS and tuberculosis combined in those areas. No less than 86% of all the world’s malaria cases, and 91% of the deaths happen in the Dark Continent.

The African Leaders Malaria Alliance has raised nearly £2 billion to buy 240 million mosquito nets treated with insecticide. The aim, which cannot be faulted for ambition, is to stop nearly all malaria-related deaths within six years.

The announcement came just as the World Health Organisation was reiterating the concern that the malaria parasite was growing increasingly resistant to artemisinin, regarded as the most effective drug for combatting the disease.

Malaria is one of the oldest illnesses known to man, and has been infecting human beings for at least 50,000 years. (See also my blogs of April 11th and May 30th)

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