Kolleen Bouchane: Malaria: Less Investment = More Suffering, More DeathPosted: April 27, 2012
The study, “Malaria resurgence: a systematic review and assessment of its causes,” was published on April 24 in Malaria Journal by a team of researchers from the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at San Francisco, and the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.
The authors reviewed the scientific literature on malaria for all cases of “resurgence events” — instances where malaria was declining but then came back. They then asked some simple questions: What made malaria come back? Was it due to a weakening of the local malaria control program? Was it caused by other factors that made malaria easier to transmit? Was it due to other complicating factors like an increase in drug resistance that made malaria harder to eliminate?
The researchers found 75 instances of malaria resurgence in 61 countries since 1930. Of the 75 instances of malaria resurgence, 68 of them (91 percent) could be explained at least in part by a weakening of the malaria control program. Of those 68 cases where the malaria program was weakened, more than half the time a lack of resources was the cause (39 out of 68, or 57 percent).