The war against malaria has begun to run out of steam, denouncing the World Health Organization in a report. While the most affected countries recorded an increase in the number of cases, the allocated resources remained insufficient.
Despite many efforts to control the disease and after several years of declining cases, malaria remains a threat to millions of people around the world. This is a sad conclusion from a report on the pathology of the World Health Organization (WHO) published Monday, November 19. In total, 219 million cases were recorded in 2017. The number has stagnated, since 217 million the previous year.
"No one has to die of malaria. But the world is facing a new reality: with stagnation in progress, we risk spending years of work."Drs. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the organization, said in his report. Because in previous years, the number of cases has gradually declined, from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015. But the struggle against the epidemic is now happening. "In neutral"denounced WHO.
Gap in scope
Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites, and is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. If there is treatment to cure it, not everyone can access it. This is responsible for around 435,000 deaths worldwide each year, of which 262,000 are children under the age of 5. Malaria levels began to decline in the early 2000s using insecticide-treated bed nets, new drugs and money spent on war, the WHO said. But since 2013, it has remained almost the same.
In 2017, around 70% of malaria cases are concentrated in 10 African and Indian countries. And while the latter has seen a reduction in disease-related morbidity in 2017, African countries have recorded 3.5 million more cases than in the previous year. WHO shows gaps in coverage. Despite the increase in distribution and use of impregnated bed nets, he estimates that half of people at risk do not sleep underneath.
"Strong impact, for large loads"
The image is not entirely black, because the organization describes some progress. In China and El Salvador, where malaria has been endemic for a long time, no local transmission has been reported in 2017. Paraguay was the first country in America to be free of this disease in 45 years. "Intensive state-led efforts can successfully reduce the risks faced by people"concluded WHO.
From this success, they intend to put in place a new action strategy, entitled "A strong impact, for a large burden". This institution will first work with the ten most affected African countries. The aim is to become a "facilitator", coordinating government work, NGOs and health actors.
But for that, we must have the means. However, the global contribution dedicated to fighting malaria – as well as for AIDS or tuberculosis – has remained unchanged since 2008. At present, 2.5 billion euros are spent every year. More than double this number is needed to achieve the UN goal of reducing malaria morbidity and mortality by at least 40% by 2020.
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