Despite some good news, the fight against malaria stagnates


The World Health Organization (WHO) published its latest report on malaria this Monday, November 19. The relationship is uncertain. The epidemic is low, the number of new cases is stagnant, but much more could be done.

219 million cases of malaria were registered in 2017. It is about the same amount as in the previous year; there were 217 million in 2016. The WHO says it bluntly, fighting the epidemic " It's stopped A situation that suggests darker days.

" With the stagnation of progress, we risk wasting years of work "Said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, general manager of the organization.

Ten African countries particularly affected

In this context, the WHO identifies 11 countries with over 70% of cases. Ten of them are African countries. Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania alone has 150 million cases and 275,000 deaths. By joining RFI, Dr. Pascal Ringwald, coordinator of the Department of Malaria Department's resistance unit at WHO, explains why these figures.

" It is explained why in these countries, everyone does not have full access to care. Only half of the population sleeps under the nets, only one in five women receive the three doses of drugs that can prevent malaria during pregnancy, and only half the children with fever who are referred for consultation to qualified medical personnel He says.

Areas of progress

Beyond this black claim, however, there are areas of progress. Globally, the number of countries that are approaching the elimination of malaria is increasing. Now they are forty-six years old. In America, Paraguay became the first state, for 45 years, to be considered free by the WHO.

Even in Africa, some countries are doing better, like Rwanda and Ethiopia.

" When countries give priority to action against malaria, they get results "Note Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for Africa of the organization.

New WHO strategy for action

The WHO intends to build on these successes to implement a new action strategy.

" We will work with these ten African countries most affected to improve the situation "Says Pascal Ringwald.

Entitled "A strong impact, for a greater burden", this new plan aims to better coordinate the response to the disease. In concrete terms, this means giving primacy to fieldwork.

" It will be necessary to be more strategic, to be able to know the situation of malaria, to know where the infection centers are, to report much more precise information, to better define and use the best possible tools in these countries. ", Details Pascal Ringwald.

To this end, the WHO intends to play a facilitating role, coordinating the work of all stakeholders, from governments to civilian populations, through NGOs and health professionals.

However, for this, it will obviously be necessary to put the means. Here is where the problem lies. In a strange parallel, the stagnation of the number of cases corresponds to that of funding. 2.5 billion euros are spent here every year. It would be more than double, by 2020, to reach the goals. For this purpose, WHO relies on international donors but also on the same States concerned.

We will work with these ten countries that have the greatest weight to improve the situation, which does not mean we forget the other countries of Africa because there are more than forty countries affected, but more emphasis will be placed on those countries. in which there is a strong stagnation of malaria cases.

Dr. Pascal Ringwald

– Of
Simon Roze


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