Doctors Without Borders Fight Malaria in Lakonia | Greece.GreekReporter.com Latest News from GreecePosted: July 3, 2012
We do witness the come back of this ‘forgotten’ disease in Greece – with the last cases to have been recorded almost 40 years ago. Malaria was officially eliminated from Greece in 1974, following an intense national malaria eradication programme that was implemented between 1946 and 1960. Between 1975 and 2005, approximately 50 malaria cases were reported every year, with the vast majority coming from countries endemic to malaria. However, sporadic cases of mosquito-transmitted malaria, which could have been acquired locally, were reported in 1991, 1999 and 2000. Between 2005 and 2009, 171 cases of malaria were reported in Greece with a mean number of 34 cases per year. Of those, 98% in people that likely acquired the infection in endemic countries and 78% of all cases were in migrants from those countries. In addition to this, between early August and October 2009, a cluster of eight malaria cases were identified in the Evrotas area of the Lakonia district, in the south of the Peloponnese. The first two cases reported were among migrant workers from Pakistan and Afghanistan who reportedly arrived in Greece during the summer of 2009 and who were working in the agricultural holdings in this particular area. Four of the remaining six cases belonged to the local Roma community and the other two were Greek citizens residing in the area. None of those six cases reported having a travel history to a malaria endemic country. In 2010, another malaria case (in the Roma community) was detected in the same area of Evrotas,. Additionally, two Roma children with malaria were notified in Viotia with disease onset on 25 and 30 August 2010 and an unclear travel history.