Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Zanzibar's impressive attack on malaria

06.11.2007
Research in Zanzibar, Tanzania has found a remarkable fall in the number of children dying from malaria. Within a three-year period (2002 to 2005), malaria deaths among the islands’ children dropped to a quarter of the previous level and overall child deaths to half.

Achuyt Bhattarai, Anders Björkman and colleagues from Tanzania, Sweden, Italy, USA and UK have published their results in the latest issue of PLoS Medicine, where they show that the achievement follows the introduction of improved treatment. Malaria control was then further enhanced by the implementation of widescale use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs).

Malaria kills about one million people every year. Most are young children living in Africa. The parasite responsible is transmitted to people when they are bitten (usually at night) by an infected mosquito. The World Health Organization and experts now recommend a new form of treatment known as artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), which include the drug artemisinin – obtained from the sweet wormwood plant. ITNs are also strongly promoted.

People with malaria have had free access to ACT in Zanzibar since late 2003; children under five years old and pregnant women have been given free ITNs (long-lasting insecticidal nets) since early 2006.

The researchers counted the parasites in the blood of a group of children under 14 years in one district of Zanzibar in May (the seasonal peak for malaria) in 2003, 2005, and 2006. They also looked in local health records for malaria-related outpatient visits and admissions between 2000 and 2005 and analysed the overall death records for the region over the same period. Between 2003 (before the introduction of ACT) and 2005, the proportion of children under five with malaria parasites in their blood halved. It decreased another 10-fold between 2005 and 2006, after the distribution of ITNs to this age group. Deaths from all causes in children under five years old halved between 2002 and 2005, and malaria-related admissions and deaths attributed to malaria in 2005 in these children were a quarter of those recorded in 2002. The climate in Zanzibar remained favorable for malaria transmission throughout this period.

The results only cover a relatively short period since the introduction of the two malaria control strategies and will need to be confirmed in longer studies conducted in other countries with a malaria problem. Nevertheless, the Zanzibar research strongly suggests that ACTs together with the widespread use of ITNs could help achieve the goal of eliminating malaria as a public-health problem in sub-Saharan Africa, provided the poor countries in this region can sustain these control strategies over the long term.

Josh Eveleth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plos.org
http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040309

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>