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News Outlets Continue Malaria Coverage

World Malaria Day was Sunday and news organizations continued to cover local events.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), eight faith-based organisations are collaborating to fight the disease, Inter Press Service reports. “The initiative, dubbed the Coalition of Religious Organisations for Health (CORESA, after its French acronym)” aims to raise $75 million “to purchase and distribute 2.5 million mosquito-nets.” According to the news service, “[t]he project is spearheaded by the United Methodist and Anglican Churches of the DRC and the United States” (Esipisu, 4/26).

By the end of 2010, Benin plans to distribute “more than four million long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLITNs),” official sources announced Sunday in the capital of Cotonou, PANA/Afrique en ligne reports.

“The nets, to be distributed free to users, [are] aimed at facilitating access to health products and care. … The sources said that at the end of the campaign, which will begin on the fourth quarter of 2010, every household will have two LLITNs” (4/27).

In related news, Cambodia’s National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control said the number of malaria cases in the country increased 41 percent last year compared with the previous year, IRIN reports.

Cambodia “recorded 83,217 malaria-infected persons in 2009, from 58,887 the previous year, after a steep drop in the number of cases over the past several years,” the news service writes. “The mosquito-borne disease killed 279 people in 2009 from 209 in 2008, Chea Nguon, the centre’s deputy director,” said. “Nguon cited several factors for the spike, including an earlier-than-usual rainy season, a late distribution of insecticide-impregnated bed nets, and internal migration to malaria-affected areas. … In addition, the increase reflected a rise in the number of people with access to healthcare, he said.” IRIN also notes the detection of malaria cases that are resistant to the drug artemisinin in Cambodia (4/27).

Also, the Daily Nation reports, “Kenya could have its first malaria vaccine by 2015, according to researchers at Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Centres of Disease Control. … RTS,S is the first vaccine designed primarily for use in Africa, where malaria kills more than 800,000 people annually, the majority of them children under the age of five” (Menya/Cherono, 4/26).

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