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Malaria initiatives

Source: UNWire

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MALARIA: Tanzanian Study Shows Good Results On Children

The World Health Organization Friday welcomed a Tanzanian study that 
found rates of malaria and anemia are severely reduced when infants 
receive an anti-malarial drug during routine immunizations.

The study, published in The Lancet, monitored 701 Tanzanian infants 
who received the anti-malarial drug sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine with 
the second and third doses of the diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus 
vaccine and the measles vaccine (UN Newservice, 11 May).

"We have seen a 60% reduction in clinical malaria during the first 
year of life, a 50% reduction in incidences of severe anemias and a 
30% reduction in hospital admissions," said Dr. Pedro Alonso of Uni-
dad de Epidemiologia hospital clinic in Barcelona, Spain. He said the 
three treatments cost less than 20 cents per child (Reuters/News24, 
12 May).

The WHO, the UN Development Program and the World Bank funded the re-
search as part of the WHO's Roll Back Malaria initiative, which aims 
to halve the number of malaria cases by 2010 (UN Newservice). 

Namibian Government Tries to Control Malaria Death Toll 

The Namibian government plans to deploy 300 trained nurses to north-
ern Namibia to fight a malaria epidemic that killed 148 people in 
April, officials said Thursday (News24, 11 May). Kalumbi Shangula, 
the permanent secretary of health and social services, said last Mon-
day that houses would be sprayed to control the epidemic (Integrated 
Regional Information Networks/, 12 May). The WHO also 
helped Namibia import 2 tons of vaccines from Zimbabwe after local 
anti-malaria medicines ran low. Following heavy rains last month, 
63,000 malaria cases have been reported in the Owambo region, report-
edly leaving some hospitals 36% above full capacity. Local nongovern-
mental organizations say health workers are being forced to put up 
tents to accommodate the extra patients in rural clinics. Namibian 
health officials expect the epidemic to slow in the next few weeks 
with the end of the rainy season (News 24).

Roll Back Malaria Head Urges Travel Industry To Help With Prevention

Multinational corporations that employ thousands of people in the de-
veloping world are beginning to realize the benefits of supporting 
local initiatives to combat malaria, according to David Alnwick, head 
of Roll Back Malaria. He added, however, that international travelers 
can reduce their own risk of getting malaria by promoting local anti-
malaria efforts. Tourist hotels and travel businesses, for example, 
could use bed nets and dispose of garbage and stagnant water to con-
trol the disease, Alnwick said (Kate Burgess, Financial Times, 11 

United States Offers Help To Indonesia 

The US government Friday said it would donate US$ 500,000 to fight 
the first significant malaria outbreaks in Java and Bali in 50 years. 
The WHO and the US Navy will help the Indonesian government carry out 
the campaign (Agence France-Presse, 11 May).

Columnist Promotes DDT Use For Malaria Prevention 

An estimated 1 million lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America could 
be saved every year by using DDT to repel mosquitoes, according to a 
commentary by columnist Deroy Murdock in the Washington Times. While 
environmentalists have pressured nations to give up DDT because of 
its environmental risks, it is the cheapest and most effective way of 
killing mosquitoes, Murdock writes. He praises the US administration 
for avoiding a global ban on DDT (Murdock, Washington Times, 12 May).

Dr. Leela McCullough 
Director of Information Services
30 California Street
Watertown, MA 02472, USA 
Tel: +1-617-926-9400 
Fax: +1-617-926-1212 

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