Malaria rates drop in East Africa

According to new research published in PLoS ONE, incidents of malaria in the East African highlands have dropped dramatically in the past decade after a huge surge associated with climate change.
Professor David Stern from the Crawford School of Economics and Government at The Australian National University was the lead author on the study. His team, based at Oxford University and in Kenya, carried out a study to evaluate trends in mean temperature and malaria cases in the area, Medical News Today reports.
The new research uses recently developed statistical tests of a quality controlled temperature series from Kericho in East Africa, which revealed a statistically significant trend when data from the last 15 years was included. Stern said that the number of malaria cases admitted to the local hospital dropped significantly over the past 10 years.
Other area surveys revealed declines in the prevalence of the malaria parasite, which reflects a global decline in the disease.
"This research suggests that, while climate change is expected to have many serious impacts, other factors including medical interventions appear to be more important in determining the incidence of malaria," Stern said, according to Medical News Today.
Due to Stern's research, published in 2002 in Nature, the East Africa highlands region showed no statistically significant trend in temperatures, leading to a debate about what caused the region's increase in malaria at the time. This controversy led Stern to continue the study.