Many African countries are moving toward malaria elimination – WHO

The World Health Organisation, WHO, on Wednesday said many African countries were moving toward malaria elimination, with prevention efforts saving millions of dollars in healthcare costs over the past 14 years.

A statement by WHO said this is contained in a World Malaria Report 2015, released by the world health body.

It said “new estimates from WHO show a significant increase in the number of countries moving toward malaria elimination, with prevention efforts saving millions of dollars in healthcare costs over the past 14 years in many African countries.”

According to the report, more than half (57) of the 106 countries with malaria in 2000 have achieved reductions in new malaria cases of least 75 per cent by 2015.

“In that same time frame, 18 countries reduced their malaria cases by 50 per cent to 75 per cent.

“Across sub-Saharan Africa, the prevention of new cases of malaria has resulted in major cost savings for endemic countries.

“New estimates presented in the WHO report show that reductions in malaria cases attributable to malaria control activities saved an estimated 900 million dollars in case management costs in the region between 2001 and 2014.

“Insecticide-treated mosquito nets contributed the largest savings, followed by artemisin-based combination therapies and indoor residual spraying,” said the report.

Also, Magaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, said “since the start of this century, investments in malaria prevention and treatment have averted over six million deaths.

“We know what works. The challenge now is to do even more,” she said.

(NAN)

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