Deaths from malaria in Africa
The rest of the world watches, but does almost nothing says Gavin Yamey and Amir Attaran
- By: Gavin Yamey, Amir Attaran
One million people die each year from malaria, mostly children and pregnant women. Nine in ten of these deaths are in Africa.1 Many children who get the disease but survive it are left with brain damage or learning difficulties. In some African countries, malaria accounts for 40% of public health spending and up to half of hospital admissions and outpatient visits.2 Malaria is stopping entire countries from growing economically, cementing a future of poverty and desperation that will span generations. And the rest of the world stands by, watching the destruction but failing to act. Yet we have the necessary tools to control malaria, and we could easily find the money.
Malaria is both preventable and treatable. Roll Back Malaria, an international partnership of health agencies established in 1998, which includes Unicef, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO), promotes a four step strategy for controlling malaria.3 These