Since 2008 the 25th April each year is World Malaria day in association with the Malaria Consortium whose bold goal is to reduce infection by 90% (from the year 2000’s levels). Globally the achievements so far are impressive with a 60% reduction in mortality rates since 2000 and a 37% reduction in infection during the same period. Despite this there were still 214 million cases of the fever reported last year and nearly half a million deaths.
India has taken huge steps to eradicate the disease and in recent years has reduced its incidence to fewer than 1 million cases in the past two years. Those most at risk are pregnant women however the introduction of routine screening has been delayed by budgetary constraints.Familiarly, it is the least educated urban, and rural tribal communities where healthcare is limited who suffer most. Just 8% of the population accounts for 46% of all diagnosed cases.
The developing world is certainly fighting this oldest of diseases but will need continued support from all quarters to make the final push and end the misery that it causes.