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 On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

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: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How gut bacteria can make us ill

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

On track to heal leukaemia

18.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>