Malaria kills hundreds of thousands every year and infects millions more. Yet, elimination of the disease is possible. In fact, it’s been achieved in 62 countries since 1960. So what stands in the way of a world without malaria? Read more…
A Note from Our Editor
April 25 is World Malaria Day. Each year, it gives us a chance to reflect on where we stand in the on-going struggle to control this deadly disease. This year is no exception, and in fact, provides even more reason for measuring progress – 2015 is the milestone by which the international community will judge progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), a set of bold targets laid out by the Millennium Declaration in 2000, which envisaged a future free of poverty and preventable disease.
The sixth MDG focuses on infectious disease: “Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.” Specifically, the target is, by 2015, to “have halted and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.”
Malaria Resistance Issue: April 2015
People always gripe about how scientists waste time studying useless, obscure topics. I’ve spent my career studying the species Anopheles gambiae, whose name literally means “useless” in Greek. But it also happens to be the deadliest animal in the world: its other name is the African malaria mosquito. It may be a useless pest, but understanding it is critical to fighting malaria.
2015 is a significant year in the global battle against malaria. Three new public health insecticides will go into full development after 10 years of research and development. These are the first new antimalarial insecticides in over 30 years and they will make a major difference to the lives of millions of people.
The malaria parasite – and in particular, Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly species – has been able to evolve resistance to several medications frequently used to treat the disease. While strains resistant to one form of treatment or another are now widespread, scientists have noted that the Mekong Region has frequently been the source of these new, drug-resistant strains.