This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Global Progress Against Malaria

BBC News today covers a new report just published by the World Health Organization (WHO) showing that progress is being made in lowering the global death toll from malaria.

There has been a fall of just over 20% in the number of deaths from malaria worldwide in the past decade, the World Health Organization says.
In 2000, WHO estimated that 1,000,000 people died from malaria, but by 2009 it is estimated that this number dropped below 800,000. This is still high, of course, and Africa continues to be disproportionately affected, but it is moving in the right direction.
A new report said that one-third of the 108 countries where malaria was endemic were on course to eradicate the disease within 10 years.
Experts said if targets continued to be met, a further three million lives could be saved by 2015.
It has been eradicated from three countries since 2007 - Morocco, Turkmenistan and Armenia.
The Roll Back Malaria Partnership aims to eliminate malaria in another eight to 10 countries by the end of 2015, including the entire WHO European Region.
Note that malaria is not caused by just one parasite, so this complicates the fight against the disease.
There are four types of human malaria:
  • Plasmodium falciparum
  • Plasmodium vivax
  • Plasmodium malariae
  • Plasmodium ovale.
Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most common.Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly [and is most common in Africa, which is why death rates are so high there]In recent years, some human cases of malaria have also occurred withPlasmodium knowlesi – a monkey malaria that occurs in certain forested areas of South-East Asia.

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