Malaria is still a danger in the world



New message The World Health Organization (WHO) on the Malaria (Malaria) situation around the world has prompted a new health record. According to a document published yesterday by the organization, last year was a cut in the reduction in the number of people affected by the disease that is transmitted through the bite of anopheles mosquitoes. infected and causing high temperatures, chills, flu-like symptoms and anemia.

And in 2017, it was 219 million cases, two million more than in 2016, after numbers had been declining since 2010, when 239 million cases were filed. As he explained Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Although no one should die for malaria, there is a "stagnation of progress that could destroy years of work, investment, and good results in reducing the number of patients."

Historically, its transmission has affected the African continent and tropical territories, a trend that continues. The World Health Organization found that 70% of cases occurred in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and India. And although it is possible to prevent malaria using insecticides in mosquito nets, half of the African infected infection population "did not sleep under the treated net", according to the WHO.

For Columbia, malaria is not a remote problem. Of the 630 cases that were presented in America, 8% were in our country. In addition, 53% of continental cases were registered in Venezuela (see chart). When EL COLOMBIANO asked Manuel Élkin Patarroyo, who develops a vaccine against this disease, if the country is at risk, an expert and director of the Institute of the Colombian Institute of Immunology (FIDIC) states that "the disease is portable and can cross all frontiers."

Malaria transmission is an outbreak. This means that if the alert is generated in a country, it does not mean that the whole territory has the same degree of risk. This is the case of Chocó, the department with the highest incidence of transmission. In addition, the country shares its borders with two countries that have more cases on the continent: Brazil and Venezuela, the second country has an increase of 70%, which is a fact that requires consideration of preventive policy of malaria government Nicolás Maduro

The WHO "region has made significant progress", as eleven countries have submitted a reduction in the number of cases. José Pablo Escobar, The Dean of the Faculty of Public Health, University of Antioquia, stresses that, in principle, the risk of considering cases occurring in a neighboring country depends on the place to which it refers, and Venezuela, the state of Bolivar, is the most affected.

As for the increase in WHO-registered cases, Escobar commented that "the important thing is the trend. If it's a decline of more than five years, that means things in Colombia are getting better and it happens" and states that " there should be no mortality, "which is a disease that can be prevented through public policies – and what can be treated.

Currently, Rosario and Fidic are testing the efficacy of a new vaccine against malaria developed by Patarroy, which has the support of Ghana, where 28 million people are at risk of malaria, and Africa is still the continent with the highest number of malaria cases and deaths.

Kwadwo Koram, former director of Noguchi's Medical Research Institute in Ghana, explains that "the problem is declining, reports show that there is more control, and in recent years the situation has declined but has not stayed at zero. We still have to do a lot of work to get there. "But what can governments do to prevent transmission?

Koram and Escobar have said it is important to improve care, inform residents about how to prevent disease and promote science. Cases like Paraguay, which was certified free of malaria in June of this year, the first country in America to gain this status from Cuba 45 years ago, show that malaria is beneficial to the population.

Can Colombia achieve it? José Pablo Escobar He says certification is the goal of the Department of Health, but a lot of effort is needed and "ten or more years have passed to achieve this goal. We need to improve the ability to look for cases in all sectors where there are climate conditions that support transmission, which is a lot. "So there are still unresolved malaria prevention challenges in the country and the world.


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