Malaria – more or less

TropIKA.net is one of the latest to comment on the World Malaria Report and data from specific countries that show a drop in malaria cases that are ‘believed’ to be a results of dscn3948sm.JPGstepped up intervention. Zambia, which is reporting a 50% drop in cases, is contrasted with Sierra Leone where there is a reported increase coupled with malaria control program implementation challenges.

In another part of the world, often known as a seed bed for malaria drug resistance, an increase is also reported. In Cambodia

Figures for malaria cases in 2009 are still being tallied, said Ministry of Health and World Health Organization officials, but are already higher than in 2008, when there were 58,887 cases and 209 deaths. In 2009, 60,157 recorded malaria cases led to 213 deaths from January through September.

In either situation – more malaria or less – the real question is how do we know?  Diagnostics, monitoring, documentation and evaluation systems are not strong yet in most countries.  Until these are improved we may not recognize malaria elimination when we achieve it – or worse, falsely claim victory.

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