Malaria control improves for vulnerable in Africa, but still "off-track"

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A smiling mother stands holding her young boy beneath an insecticide-treated net, in Arusha, Tanzania. Photo: ©UNICEF/PFPG2014-1191/Hallahan (file photo)

The control of malaria for vulnerable people in Africa has improved, but the progress being made is still "off-track" according to new figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It's estimated that the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes and which is preventable, infected 212 million people and killed 429,000 worldwide in 2015.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden.

In 2015, the region was home to 90 per cent of malaria cases and 92 per cent of malaria deaths.

Children under five are particularly vulnerable

WHO's World Malaria Report 2016 reveals that children and pregnant women there now have greater access to effective malaria control than before.

Across the region, a steep increase in diagnostic testing and preventive treatment, such as the use of insecticide-treated nets, has saved many lives.

But in many countries in the region, not everyone is getting the support they need.

Funding shortfalls and fragile health systems are undermining overall progress, jeopardizing the attainment of global targets, WHO said.

In 2015, an estimated 4 per cent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa was not protected by treated nets or indoor spraying with insecticides, the primary methods of malaria vector control.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’06″

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