The World Health Organization (WHO) published its latest report on malaria on Monday, November 19th. The report is incomplete. The epidemic is contained, the number of new cases is stalled, but a lot can be done.
217 million cases of malaria were reported in 2017. This is about the same as in the previous year; in 2016 there were 217 million. WHO points this out, fighting the epidemic. " is at rest A situation that suggests darker days.
" With the stagnation of progress, we risk wasting years of work. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, general manager of the organization, said.
Ten African countries are particularly affected.
In this context, WHO identifies 11 countries with more than 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 accounts for 150 million cases and 275,000 deaths. In response to the RFI, Dr. Pascal Ringwald, coordinator of the malaria resistance department at WHO, explains why these numbers are.
" This is explained by the fact that in these countries every person does not have full access to medical care. Only half of the population sleeps under mosquito nets, only one in five women receives three doses of medication that can prevent malaria during pregnancy, and only half of children with fever who are sent for counseling to qualified medical personnel He says.
However, besides this black statement, there are areas of progress. Globally, the number of countries approaching malaria eradication is increasing. Now they are forty-six. In America, Paraguay became the first state in 45 years, which WHO considers free.
In Africa, some countries are also doing better, such as Rwanda and Ethiopia.
" When countries give priority to action against malaria, they get results »Notes Dr. Mathidiso Moethi, Regional Director for Africa Organization.
New WHO Action Strategy
WHO intends to use these successes to develop a new strategy for action.
" We will work with these ten most affected African countries to improve the situation. “Says Pascal Ringwald.
Entitled “Strong Impact, for Serious Burden,” this new plan intends to better coordinate the response to this disease. In concrete terms, this means ensuring superiority in field work.
" It is necessary to be more strategic, to be able to know the situation with malaria, to know where the centers of infection are, to report much more accurate information in order to better describe and use the best possible tools in these countries. Details Pascal Ringwald.
To this end, WHO intends to play a facilitating role, coordinating the work of all stakeholders, from governments to civilians, through NGOs and health actors.
However, for this, obviously, it will be necessary to use funds. That's the problem. In a strange parallel, the stagnation of the number of cases corresponds to such funding. Currently there are 2.5 billion euros a year. To achieve the goals, by 2020 more than doubled. To this end, WHO relies on international donors, as well as on the states themselves.
We will work with these ten countries that have the greatest burden to improve the situation, which does not mean that we forget about other African countries, because there are more than forty countries but more attention will be paid to those countries where there is a strong stagnation of malaria cases.
Dr. Pascal Ringwald