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!
New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy