Global progress against malaria disguises a stark rise in infections and deaths in African countries upended by conflict—but new strategies show promise in the fight, researchers said at a malaria conference in Dakar yesterday.
Africa shoulders about 9 in 10 malaria deaths and cases—over a third in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where conflict has uprooted many and traditional strategies, like bed nets, don’t always work. “Where is a displaced person going to hang a net?” Richard Allen, head of The Mentor Initiative, explained to Thomson Reuters Foundation ahead of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria summit. Researchers shared possible alternatives, like insecticide-treated plastic shelter sheeting and mini malaria backpack kits for health workers, at the pan-African conference.
Meanwhile, ahead of a malaria summit over in London, a pack of donors led by Bill Gates and The Global Fund pledged to funnel $3.8 billion into malaria R&D, Reuters reported.