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Africa’s History With Malaria Indicates ‘Urgent Need’ To Focus On High-Burden Countries

The Conversation: What 115 years of data tell us about Africa’s battle with malaria past and present
Bob Snow, professor at the Centre for Tropical Medicine & Global Health at the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Medicine

“…Despite an impressive overall decline in malaria prevalence since 1900, Africa has the highest infection risks globally. … There is an urgent need to focus on the high-burden countries in Africa; they should not be left behind in a new global agenda for malaria elimination. It is complex and predicting a future malaria landscape based on climate or economic development alone would be foolhardy. It needs a more integrated approach. … [T]he malaria map in Africa might shrink a bit at the margins but that middle belt isn’t going anywhere in our lifetimes with what we have at our disposal now — bed nets and drugs. When insecticide and drug resistance becomes established, unless we have new classes of both drugs and insecticides or a natural period of drought, malaria will revert in large parts of Africa to what it was in the 1990s, another perfect storm” (10/17).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.