Malaria research offers new promise
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday welcomed the results of
a just-published study on malaria, which, it said, could offer new
hope in reducing the toll of the illness among infants. The study of
701 children in Ifakara, southern Tanzania, published in 'The Lancet'
medical journal "opens up an exciting new possibility of reducing the
impact of malaria in young children", WHO stated. The research - sup-
ported by WHO, the UNDP and the World Bank - monitored infants who
received an anti-malarial drug together with the second and third
doses of diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus (DPT)
vaccine, and with the measles vaccine. The intervention, which ap-
peared to be safe in this trial, was found to cut the prevalence of
severe malaria by 59 percent and associated anaemia by 50 percent,
with a treatment that would cost just US 25 cents. "The results of
this study open up an important way to reduce the toll of death from
anaemia and malaria in infants," WHO stated. The challenge now was to
validate the research findings in other malaria-affected areas and
confirm the safety of the treatment, it said.
WHO estimates that there are 300 to 500 million cases of malaria
worldwide every year. The malaria research it welcomed on Monday was
based in Ifakara, a semi-rural area with a population of about 55,000
situated in the flood plains of the Kilombero river, southern Tanza-
nia. In areas of high malaria transmission, such as the Kilombero
Valley in southern Tanzania, about half of all malaria hospital ad-
missions and deaths are in children younger than one year, according
to the research findings in 'The Lancet'. The well-established Ex-
panded Program on Immunisation (EPI) routinely delivered vaccinations
to infants and, if there were no adverse interactions, could be used
to deliver anti-malarial interventions to the target group in certain
settings, it said. Efficient malaria control depended on targeting
the groups at highest risk of disease and death, and a preventive
rather than curative approach was appealing and would reduce the im-
pact of people's poor access to curative services, the report added.
For further details, go to:
or to read the full text article (you have to register free
of charge) go to:
[This item is delivered in the "africa-english" service of the UN's
IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect
the views of the United Nations. For further information, free sub-
scriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org or Web: http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN . If you re-
print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit
and disclaimer. Reposting by commercial sites requires written IRIN
Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `<email@example.com>'.
Mail administrative requests to `<firstname.lastname@example.org>'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `<email@example.com>'.