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Malaria Deaths Down, Not Out

Wednesday, 14 Dec 2011 07:54 AM

Malaria deaths dropped by 36,000 last year, according to experts at the World Health Organization. Still, efforts to eradicate the disease remain far off.

Malaria is a parasitic disease spread by mosquito bite and is endemic in over 100 countries.

Worldwide, there are 216 million cases of malaria and were about 655,000 deaths last year, WHO reported. Most incidents occur in Africa, and most often among children under the age of 5. The total number of malaria cases is down 17 percent from 2010.

However, the agency’s goal of zero malaria deaths by 2015 is ‘aspirational,’ but not likely, said Dr. Robert Newman, director of WHO’s malaria program.

“It is unacceptable that people continue to die from malaria for lack of a $5 bed net, a 50-cent diagnostic test and a $1 antimalarial treatment,” Newman said.

A previous effort to eradicate malaria was given up in the 1960s. When donors lost interest, the disease surged.

© HealthDay

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The goal of zero malaria deaths by 2015 is ‘aspirational,’ but not likely, said the malaria program director at the World Health Organization.

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