THE STORIES BEHIND THE HEADLINES

Abu Dhabi

London

New York

Tuesday 20th March 2018

Experts Challenge World Health Organisation with Ambitious Goal to Eradicate Malaria by 2050

Lifestyle & Health

7Dnews London

Mon, 09 Sep 2019 14:32 GMT

Malaria can be eradicated within 30 years and the World Health Organisation should not fail to achieve this goal say global health experts, according to Reuters.

In a report that contrasted with the findings of a World Health Organisation-led malaria review last month, 41 specialists said malaria could be completely eradicated by 2050.

But to achieve this goal, governments, scientists and public health officials must inject more money and use innovations to combat the disease and the mosquitoes that transmit it, which needs "unprecedented ambition, commitment and partnership," the report said. Malaria is one of the oldest and among the deadliest diseases in the world.

"For too long, malaria eradication has been a distant dream, but now we have evidence that malaria can and should be eradicated by 2050," said Richard Feachem, director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, who co-chaired a review of malaria eradication commissioned by The Lancet medical journal. "We must ... challenge ourselves with ambitious targets and commit to the bold action needed to meet them," he added.

The Lancet view comes a few weeks after the WHO published a report on whether malaria could be eliminated which concluded that the disease could not be eradicated any time soon and that setting unrealistic targets at an unspecified cost and without a specific time frame could lead to "abort and backfire."

Malaria infected nearly 219 million people in 2017 and claimed about 435,000 lives, mostly infants and children, in Africa's poorest region.