THE DAILY STAR :: News :: Health :: Malaria toll far higher than thought: studyPosted: February 2, 2012
“You learn in medical school that people exposed to malaria as children develop immunity and rarely die from malaria as adults,” said lead researcher Christopher Murray.
“What we have found in hospital records, death records, surveys and other sources shows that just is not the case.”
From 1985, says the paper, malaria deaths grew every year, peaking at 1.8 million in 2004.
But from 2004, the toll fell every year. Between 2007 and 2010, the decline has been particularly acute — more than seven percent every year — and the big beneficiary has been Africa.
Among the stars are Tanzania and Zambia, which saw deaths fall by more than 30 percent between 2004 and 2010.
The source of the decline lies in the increased use of artemisinin drugs, replacing medications to which the malaria parasite has become resistant, and the widening distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, says the probe.