Here’s a little data about malaria:
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes. It was once thought that the disease came from fetid marshes, hence the name mal aria (bad air). In 1880, scientists discovered the real cause of malaria: a one-cell parasite called plasmodium. Later they discovered that the parasite is transmitted from person to person through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito, which requires blood to nurture her eggs.
- 3.3 billion people – half the world’s population – are at risk of malaria
- One million people die each year from malaria
- Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria
Malaria in Africa
- 90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa
- 1 in 5 childhood deaths are caused by malaria
- Malaria is responsible for a 1.3% growth penalty per year in some African countries
- 10,000 pregnant women and 200,000 infants die from malaria in Africa
- Malaria costs Africa more than $12 billion in lost GDP every year
Now for some potentially good (great?) news: An experimental vaccine has been tested and is showing very promising results as a vaccine against malaria. It’s not perfect – it is about 50% effective – but it’s a great start. Here’s the full story. I guess we shouldn’t point out it’s one of those big evil drug companies that’s working on this.
Again, small steps, but they are steps forward.