Liberia making strides in eliminating malaria

On April 25, Liberia celebrated World Malaria Day by reflecting on the progress made against the disease that just five years ago was estimated to annually kill an estimated one million people worldwide.

At the time of the estimates, it was said that the loss of productivity in Africa was around $12 billion per year and that 30 to 40 percent of all outpatient visits and hospital admissions in children under the age of five were a result of malaria, reports the Liberian Observer.

Due to global efforts, the reported cases of malaria have been cut in half in over 40 countries, including Liberia. Deaths related to malaria have decreased an estimated 150,000 annually and an estimated 485 child deaths a day.

Global organizations like the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the World Bank Booster Program for Malaria, along with the U.S. government, have taken active roles to stop the spread of the preventable and curable disease.

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative has donated more than three million malaria treatment doses and two million rapid diagnostic tests, and has distributed over 1.5 million mosquito nets, the Liberian Observer reports. In Liberia, 80,000 households have been sprayed with residual insecticide to protect the residents from the spread of malaria.

In addition, organizations like the African Leaders Malaria Alliance have made it their aim to end unnecessary deaths from malaria by 2015.

With the aid of international organizations and national governments, countries like Liberia may be able to continually lower the incidence of malaria through prevention, diagnosis and treatment.