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!
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy