Zambia fights to sustain its malaria success

Science Magazine featured one of EPI’s researcher in an article about Zambia’s fight to sustain its malaria success. Zambia has been a poster child for progress against malaria. Between 2006 and 2011, donors invested more than $300 million into the country to combat the disease. Zambia was the first country in Africa to adopt artemisinin combination therapy to treat malaria. More than 24 million insecticide-treated bed nets were distributed to protect against the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Screening for the disease was scaled up. The efforts paid off, with dramatic drops in malaria cases and deaths in parts of the country. But those gains are fragile, malaria experts warn, and if attention is diverted, they could well be lost.

"In the north, on the other hand, A. funestus and A. gambiae are still spreading the disease, and they have now developed resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. A new indoor spraying campaign with actellic, a more expensive chemical that still kills the insects, is supposed to start soon and may help to beat back malaria, Moss says. But more research is also needed to understand why the north hasn’t enjoyed the same successes as the south", says Ubydul Haque, of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida in Gainesville. 

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