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CDC and global partners make progress in curbing malaria



by Joseph Earnest  April 25, 2014


Newscast Media WASHINGTONThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its global partners have made enormous progress in reaching more people than ever with lifesaving malaria interventions and in reducing malaria deaths by nearly half in Africa, where malaria burden is highest.

Malaria has long been a major cause of illness and death worldwide, but that is changing, CDC said on April 25, World Malaria Day.

CDC and the global community have worked together to reach millions with lifesaving prevention and treatment interventions. This massive scale-up of malaria interventions has saved 3.3 million lives since 2000, CDC said, and has led to sharp decreases in deaths due to malaria. Globally, deaths have fallen by 42 percent and in sub-Saharan Africa by 49 percent.

Although the impact has been dramatic, approximately 627,000 people died of malaria in 2012, most of them young children in Africa.

World Malaria Day is commemorated each April 25. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the status of global efforts to "roll back malaria." The 2014 theme, "Invest in the future: Defeat malaria," is a reminder of the need to continue to make progress and defeat malaria.

CDC was established in 1946 as an agency to control malaria in the United States. It continues to provide leadership and expertise in global malaria control activities.

In the last 20 years, CDC has developed and tested the tools that make up the effective intervention package now being used in global efforts worldwide, including:

• Insecticide-treated bed nets and house spraying to protect families from mosquitoes.

• Accurate diagnostic tests and high-quality effective drugs.

• Treatment for pregnant women so that they are protected and their babies are born healthy.

Intervention scale-up and emerging drug and insecticide resistance are changing in the malaria landscape. To meet that challenge, CDC is re-examining the tools it is currently using to maximize their effectiveness.

The agency also is developing new tools — new treatment medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and mosquito control products — and has begun to develop effective strategies for using and evaluating them.

By testing these tools, CDC ensures it invests wisely in the resources most likely to prove successful in the fight against. It also said it is boosting its efforts to monitor and evaluate approaches to resistance to drugs and insecticides, as well as investigating new ways to collect the strategic information needed to track progress in the fight against malaria.

“The remarkable gains against malaria are still fragile,” says Dr. Robert Newman, former director of the WHO Global Malaria Programme. “In the next 10–15 years, the world will need innovative tools and technologies, as well as new strategic approaches to sustain and accelerate progress.”

CDC shares responsibility with the U.S. Agency for International Development for implementing the President's Malaria Initiative in 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Greater Mekong Subregion in Asia.

In the United States, malaria was eliminated by the early 1950s, but on average about 1,500 travelers returning to the U.S. each year bring back “imported malaria.”

Additional information is available on the World Malaria Day website. (pop-up)

For 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, the number of reported cases in the United States was the highest in 40 years. The CDC encourages travelers who plan to visit an area with a history of malaria transmission to take precautions to prevent the disease.  Add Comments>>













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