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Progress for child survival: malaria

Listen to Professor Chris Whitty describe the progress made in reducing child deaths from malaria.

Moving on from HIV and AIDS, in our second example Professor Chris Whitty looks at a fast-reducing but major cause of child deaths: malaria. Half of the world population is at risk of malaria, and 90% of deaths occurring as a result of the disease are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of these deaths occur in children.

Malaria deaths are now reducing by around 4.5% each year, which represents a 53% reduction between 2000 and 2013. This has been achieved primarily through:

  • Massive scale up of use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs)
  • Treatment of malaria in children through rapid diagnostic tests and combination therapies (ACTs).

Challenges to maintaining the reductions cannot be ignored, and these include increasing resistance to ACT and insecticide, issues with delivery of drugs, and the problem of epidemic malaria.

There is a real chance to eliminate malaria entirely in some parts of the world. How do you think we can we strike a balance between investing in the elimination of malaria in low transmission areas, for example Southeast Asia, and bringing down mortality and morbidity in high transmission areas, such as Africa?

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Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: from Evidence to Action

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