Lives being lost unnecessarily in the fight against malaria
- By: Wendy Brown
A joint report released by the World Health Organization and Unicef last month to mark Africa Malaria Day found that death tolls from malaria are still “outrageously high.” The report found that malaria causes more than 3000 child deaths in Africa every day and that effective antimalarial drugs and bed nets treated with insecticide are not widely available to those who need them.
Jane Crawley, an adviser to WHO's malaria department, also recently noted that the use of bed nets treated with insecticide could greatly reduce malaria transmission, yet coverage with nets, particularly insecticide treated ones, remains poor.
The report detailed the huge problems caused by resistance to antimalarial drugs; resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine is now so high in parts of Africa that both drugs are virtually useless. The report argues that effective malaria treatment such as combination treatment based on artemisinin should become widely available. Donor agencies should