- 219 million cases worldwide in 2017; 92% of these in Africa!
- 435 thousand deaths; 93% of these in Africa, mostly children and pregnant women!
- 266 thousand of these are children below the age of 5!
Although progress in malaria control around the world has been massive in the past fifteen years, with insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor residual spraying of insecticides, there are also hurdles in moving forward. One of the biggest threats is insecticide resistance. Also, notably in SE Asia, resistance to antimalarial drugs is a serious cause for concern. If we lose the current weapons, insecticides and drugs, the gains of the last 15 years may get lost.
Although an experimental vaccine will be tested in three African countries in the years to come, and biotechnological approaches to render mosquitoes refractory to infection with parasites have been developed in the lab, such developments will take time before being deployed in the field and have passed all the regulatory hurdles.
Larval control, although widely practiced in the developed world, is slowly gaining more interest in Africa but is not yet systematically used on a very large scale. The main reason for this is the difficulty of covering terrain and reaching all breeding sites from the ground – a problem that is easily tackled in the developed world with the use of helicopters and fixed-wing spray aircraft. Time for a change…
Do you want to know how we can solve these problems with anti malaria drones?
Rice farmers and their families often work and live very in the middle of large tracts of irrigated land and therefore in the middle of the cause of the menace: breeding sites that produce thousands of malaria mosquitoes.
Adults enjoy a certain extent of immunity towards malaria but still fall ill from time to time and need treatment. Often this results in a substantial number of days absent from work or not being able to work in the fields to grow crops. Adults often need to stay at home to look after their children when they have malaria and sometimes face the horror of losing a child due to the scourge. Malaria is costly and families may at times spend a quarter of their income on care and prevention methods. Malaria results in loss of income and reduces harvests.
Below a figure showing the vicious circle of malaria causing poverty and poverty fueling malaria (International Food Policy Research Institute).
Want to know more about the impact of malaria on agriculture and food production? Read the blog below.