The Reality

Many people have heard of malaria, yet many also do not know how serious of an issue it has become. A child dies EVERY MINUTE from malaria. That means 1,300 kids lose their lives to a mosquito bite every day. In countries all over the world, malaria is stealing lives, creating poverty, and spreading rapidly.

  • Over one million people die from malaria each year, mostly children under the age of five.
  • There were an estimated 300 million malaria cases worldwide in 2012, mostly pregnant women and children.
  • Malaria is causing lasting learning disabilities in children and keeps more children out of school than any other disease.
  • Malaria  is also a major cause of poverty. What people need to know is that prevention is an important part of poverty alleviation.
  • 40 % of the world’s population live in areas with malaria risk. 90% of these cases take place in Africa.
  • A family that has been hit with malaria spends an average of over one quarter of its income on treatment.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “2,000 cases of malaria were diagnosed and treated in the United States in 2011.”

The Problem

Not only is Malaria killing millions around the world, it is also causing economic crisis in counties like Africa. Another problem is that in parts of the world, mosquitoes that carry malaria have developed resistance to insecticides. In addition, the parasites have developed resistance to some antibiotics. These conditions have led to difficulty in controlling both the rate of infection and spread of this disease.

  • Commonly used treatments are rapidly loosing their effectiveness in many places in Africa.
  • The use of bed-nets can dramatically reduce cases, yet fewer than 2 % of African children sleep under a net.
  • Many countries do not have access to basic hygene products that could also dramatically reduce the amount of cases.
  • In lost GDP, Malaria has been estimated to cost Africa more than US$ 12 billion every year. The reality is that it could be controlled for a fraction of that sum.

The Truth: Malaria is Preventable, Treatable and Curable

The good news is, there are multiple methods to control this deadly virus that cost very little and are highly effective.

  • Education: Teaching families and communities about prevention, recognition, and appropriate treatment of malaria is key to the success for malaria control.
  • Prevention: The biggest opportunity to conquer malaria is prevention. Providing areas at high malaria risk with proper sanitation products, mosquito nets, and education on actions they can do to avoid bites has the potential to significantly lower malaria rates all over the world and save thousands of lives.
  • Treatment: There are several treatments available that need to become more easily accessible. There are many organizations providing these parts of the world with Rapid-diagnostic tests (RDTs) which are expanding the world’s ability to confirm malaria cases in remote settings, ensuring that people get the right treatment when and where they need it. Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are effective in treating malaria. The treatment costs just $1 and cures a child in one to three days.

Resources
http://www.cdc.gov/features/malaria/
http://www.unicef.org/media/media_20475.html
http://www.malarianomore.org/pages/the-challenge