Tuesday, March 31, 2009

World malaria map could guide policy

SciDev.net: Researchers have created what they say is the first global map of malaria infection rates in more than 40 years, in an effort to help inform policy and monitor progress in fighting the disease. The map of the extent of Plasmodium falciparum infection, the most deadly type of malaria parasite, is published today (24 March) in PLoS Medicine. It was produced by the Malaria Atlas Project (MAP), a multinational team of over 200 researchers.

The researchers used data from nearly 8,000 surveys of how many people were carrying the parasite in their bloodstream in malaria-prone areas in 2007 to map malaria risk. They found that fewer people live in high-risk malaria areas than previously thought. Some 70 per cent of the 2.4 billion people in malaria-prone areas live in low-risk areas where mathematical models predict that simple interventions such as bednets could eradicate the disease.

"The map shows us, surprisingly, that the majority of the endemic world is in fact very low risk," says Bob Snow, one of the report's authors, from the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the UK-based University of Oxford. All of Latin America was found to be at low risk, as was most of Central and South-East Asia, although pockets of intermediate and occasionally high transmission remain.

But the map also shows that the risk of contracting malaria remains high in Central and West Africa where control, rather than eradication, should therefore be the aim of the next ten years. Of the people estimated to live in high-risk areas worldwide, 98 per cent lived in Africa…

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

This is a great idea. This is a guide to know where is the place that we need to focus with.

Many organizations that uses technology as their strength to stop or at least lessen the victims of this disease. They usually use elisa kits to know the body substances and antibodies to know whether a person is infected or not.