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WHO New report shows progress in Malaria elimination in Sub-Saharan Africa

The new report estimates from WHO also show that across sub-Saharan Africa, the prevention of new cases of malaria has resulted in major cost savings for endemic countries.

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Actors warn against malaria in a campaign by the group behind Moskeeto Armor, a mosquito repellent fabric, in Lagos. play

Actors warn against malaria in a campaign by the group behind Moskeeto Armor, a mosquito repellent fabric, in Lagos.

(The Guardian)

The World Health Organization (WHO) in a new report stated that there has been a significant decrease in Malaria cases all over the world, but the decline in Sub-Saharan Africa is comparatively lesser.

This is stated in an annual Malaria report released by WHO on Wednesday. According to the report, an estimated 663 million cases of malaria have been averted in sub-Saharan Africa since 2001 as a direct result of the scale-up of three key malaria control interventions: insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and artemisinin-based combination therapy but still the situation is serious.

Read: Lawmakers to ensure efficient health care delivery

Actors warn against malaria in a campaign by the group behind Moskeeto Armor, a mosquito repellent fabric, in Lagos. The WHO says malaria prevention measures have averted millions of deaths. ( source: the guardian)

The new report estimates from WHO also show that across sub-Saharan Africa, the prevention of new cases of malaria has resulted in major cost savings for endemic countries.

The report said 15 countries, mainly in Africa, account for most global malaria cases (80 per cent) and deaths (78 per cent) with two countries Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), accounting for more than 35 per cent of global malaria deaths in 2015.

According to the report, these high burden countries have achieved slower-than-average declines in malaria incidence (32 per cent) compared to other countries globally (53 per cent).

In many of these countries, weak health systems continue to impede progress in malaria control,” the agency said.

Approximately one third of people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa lived in households that lacked protection from mosquito nets or indoor residual spraying.

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WHO noted that the “progress has resulted, in large part, from the massive deployment of effective and low-cost malaria control interventions.

The report said that efforts were being made rigorously to decrease the Malarial cases in Sub-Saharan Africa but there is still a long way to go.

Since 2000, nearly 1 billion insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, and by 2015, about 55 per cent of the population in this region was sleeping under mosquito nets, up from less than 2 per cent coverage in 2000.

Rapid diagnostic tests have made it easier to swiftly distinguish between malarial and non-malarial fevers, enabling timely and appropriate treatment, the agency also note.

But even as progress was being made WHO warned of 'new challenges' on the horizon.

In many countries, progress is threatened by the rapid development and spread of mosquito resistance to insecticides,” said Dr. Pedro Alonso, Director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “Drug resistance could also jeopardize recent gains in malaria control.

Globally, in 2014, 16 countries reported zero indigenous cases of malaria: Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Costa Rica, Iraq, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Oman, Paraguay, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.

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