MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Malaria deaths down by 25 percent in the last decade

According to the World Health Organization, malaria deaths have fallen by over 25 percent in the last decade due to a coordinated attack on the disease, though the progress remains fragile.
The report estimated that approximately 655,000 victims, mostly children, died of malaria in 2010. Estimates a decade ago were closer to one million, though the counting was less reliable, the New York Times reports.
The most noticeable gains were made in Africa, where most of the deaths occurred and where donor dollars have been concentrated since the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the president's Malaria Initiative were created early in the decade.
The report also warned that progress could easily evaporate, as it did in the 1970s when mosquitoes became resistant to pesticides and malaria parasites became resistant to chloroquine, according to the New York Times. According to the report, the $2 billion that donors give to the Global Fund annually is only approximately one-third of what is needed.
While 145 million mosquito nets were delivered to Africa in 2010, they tear easily and the embedded insecticide fades within three years. In addition, resistance to artemisinin persists in southeast Asia, due in part to the 28 small companies that still sell pills containing only artemisinin, which encourages resistance. The WHO endorses multidrug cocktails, though they cost more and the partner drugs typically taste bitter.