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Thursday, August 13, 2009


Malaria in Africa
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It was once thought that the disease came from fetid marshes, hence the name mal aria (bad air). In 1880, scientists discovered the real cause of malaria: a one-cell parasite called plasmodium. Later they discovered that the parasite is transmitted from person to person through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, which requires blood to nurture her eggs.
Malaria Worldwide
  • 300-500 million people contract malaria annually
  • One million people die each year from malaria
  • Every 30 seconds someone dies from malaria malaria in Africa
  • 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa
  • 1 in 5 childhood deaths are caused by malaria
  • Malaria is responsible for a 1.3% growth penalty per year in some African countries, due to loss in productivity
  • Malaria costs Africa more than $12 billion in lost GDP every year
IMC and Malaria
IMC is committed to rolling back malaria in the countries where the organization is operational, through treatment, prevention, and educational activities. IMC will integrate its anti-malaria programs into all primary health care services. IMC, in collaboration with host-country health authorities, has successfully introduced new malaria protocols and new drug combinations. IMC supplies many health centers while simultaneously building the capacity of health providers.

www.fightingmalaria.gov website has a ton of info including reports on specific countries in West Africa.
Example report for Mali:

Sample text from the article:
Malaria is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality nationwide (talking about Mali). In the 2006 annual statistical summary of the national health information system health facilities reported more than one million clinical cases of malaria, accounting for 38% of all outpatient visits and 41% of outpatient visits in children less than five years of age. Thirty seven percent of all reported deaths are due to malaria; among children less than five years of age, malaria is the reported cause for more than half of all deaths.

In late June 2005, the United States Government (USG) announced a new five-year, $1.2 billion initiative to rapidly scale-up malaria prevention and treatment interventions in 15 high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal of this Initiative is to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50% in each of the 15 focus countries. This will be achieved by reaching 85% coverage of the most vulnerable groups---children less than five years of age, pregnant women, and people living with HIV/AIDS

In 2008, the population of Mali is estimated to be 12.7 million (World Population Prospects – 2006 Revision, Population Data Base), with over 47% of the population less than fifteen years of age. The total expenditure on health in Mali represented 4.8% of the GDP (WHO, 2003). Approximately 64% of Malians live in poverty. In 2005, the estimated annual gross national income per capita was just $380 (World Bank), making Mali one of the world's poorest countries.

Malaria is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in Mali. In the 2006 annual statistical summary of the national health information system (Système Local d'Information Sanitaire or SLIS), health facilities reported 1,022,592 clinical cases of malaria, accounting for 38% of all outpatient visits (all ages). Malaria also accounts for 41% of all outpatient visits for children less than five years of age. Thirty seven percent of all reported deaths and 56% of deaths in children under five are due to malaria. Children less than five years of age represent 64% of all reported malaria deaths. However, this number could result from incorrect reporting and lack of diagnostic capabilities; many febrile illness deaths are reported as malaria deaths.

According to the SLIS, the reported incidence of suspected cases of malaria in 2005 was 82 per 1,000 population nationally, with regional incidence ranging from 52/1,000 in Mopti to 115/1,000 in Bamako. Infants had the highest reported incidence of 247/1,000, followed by children aged one to four years at 135/1,000. Actual malaria incidence may be much higher, since many patients with malaria do not seek care from health facilities.

Key Facts
  • Malaria is both preventable and curable.
  • A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.
  • More than one million people die of malaria every year, mostly infants, young children and pregnant women and most of them in Africa.
Infection and Transmission
Malaria is a disease which can be transmitted to people of all ages. It is caused by parasites of the species Plasmodium that are spread from person to person through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The common first symptoms – fever, headache, chills, and vomiting – appear 10 to 15 days after a person is infected. If not treated promptly with effective medicines, malaria can cause severe illness that is often fatal.

There are four types of human malaria – Plasmodium falciparum, P.vivax, P.malariae, and P.ovale. P.falciparum and P.vivax are the most common. P.falciparum is by far the most deadly type of malaria infection.

Malaria transmission differs in intensity and regularity depending on local factors such as rainfall patterns, proximity of mosquito breeding sites and mosquito species. Some regions have a fairly constant number of cases throughout the year – these are malaria endemic – whereas in other areas there are "malaria" seasons, usually coinciding with the rainy season.

Large and devastating epidemics can occur in areas where people have had little contact with the malaria parasite, and therefore have little or no immunity. These epidemics can be triggered by weather conditions and further aggravated by complex emergencies or natural disasters.

"Malaria defeated the international community many years ago. We cannot allow this to happen again. A single global action plan for malaria control, that enjoys Partnership-wide support, is a strong factor for success."
-Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization

"I believe that if you show people a problem, and then you show them the solution, they will be moved to act. The Global Malaria Action Plan lays out an achievable blueprint for fighting malaria – now it's time for the world to take action."
-Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"The Global Malaria Action Plan aims to ensure that no country is left behind in the global fight against malaria - comprehensive, continent-wide coverage is critical to long-term success."
-Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health of Ethiopia

"It is imperative that universal coverage of prevention and treatment for the millions of people who suffer and die from malaria is attained. The Global Malaria Action Plan will guide and unify the malaria community in its efforts to provide timely and effective assistance to endemic countries. With sufficient funding and political support, this plan will help us reap dramatic gains against malaria in the coming years."
-Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership

"The Global Malaria Action Plan makes a strong case for investing in malaria. I urge advocates in countries and at global level to use this plan to mobilise resources for malaria control and help answer the UN Secretary General's call for universal access to malaria prevention and treatment."
-Ray Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Malaria
Malaria Worldwide
  • Forty-one percent of the world's population live in areas where malaria is transmitted (e.g., parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central and South America, Hispaniola, and Oceania).
  • Each year 350–500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide, and over one million people die, most of them young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • In areas of Africa with high malaria transmission, an estimated 990,000 people died of malaria in 1995 – over 2700 deaths per day, or 2 deaths per minute.
  • In 2002, malaria was the fourth cause of death in children in developing countries, after perinatal conditions (conditions occurring around the time of birth), lower respiratory infections (pneumonias), and diarrheal diseases. Malaria caused 10.7% of all children's deaths in developing countries.
  • In Malawi in 2001, malaria accounted for 22% of all hospital admissions, 26% of all outpatient visits, and 28% of all hospital deaths. Not all people go to hospitals when sick or having a baby, and many die at home. Thus the true numbers of death and disease caused by malaria are likely much higher.
Who is most vulnerable?
Persons most vulberable are those with no or little protective immunity against the disease. in areas with high transmission, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the most vulberable groups is young children who have not yet developed immunity.
Leading Causes of Death: Children Under Five Years of Age,
Estimates for 2000-2003

(Source: World Health Organization, The World Health Report 2005)
% of
all deaths
1Neonatal causes3,91037
2Acute respiratory infections2,02719
3Diarrheal diseases1,76217
Other causes1,02210
Additional Malaria Information

How Nature's Sunshine is helping fight Malaria in Africa:



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