Sanatatea si viata a 515 milioane de oameni, pfff - o nimica toata pe langa 
cauza nobila a conservarii ecosistemului tzantzarului anofel, nu-i asa, coana 

Malaria Estimated at 515 Million Cases Worldwide

Wed Mar 9, 1:02 PM ET
By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - More than half a billion people, nearly double previous 
estimates, were affected by the deadliest form of malaria in 2002, scientists 
said Wednesday. 

Most were in sub-Saharan Africa but nearly 25 percent occurred in southeast 
Asia and the Western Pacific. 

"The disease burden is 515 million clinical attacks a year on the planet. That 
is quite substantial," said Professor Bob Snow of the Kenyan Medical Research 
Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. 

"We have taken a conservative approach to estimating how many attacks occur 
globally each year but even so the problem is far bigger than we previously 
thought," he told Reuters. 

The figures, which are reported in the science journal Nature, are almost twice 
those of the World Health Organization (news - web sites) (WHO) which estimated 
the global incidence of malaria at 273 million cases in 1998 with 90 percent of 
cases in Africa. 

"It is quite substantially higher than the WHO estimate," said Snow who 
calculated there were 365 million cases of malaria in Africa alone in 2002. 

Malaria is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. It occurs in more 
than 100 countries and kills more than a million people each year -- mostly 
young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Most deaths are caused by the Plasmodium 
falciparum parasite. 

Snow and his colleagues used epidemiological data, studies, demographic 
information and data from satellites to pinpoint areas where the disease is 
most prevalent. 

"For the first time we have provided a framework for estimating how many 
clinical attacks there are each year due to Plasmodium falciparum -- the most 
lethal of the malaria parasites that affect man," said Snow. 

The research suggests that 2.2 billion people are at risk of malaria. Although 
the scientists did not estimate deaths from the disease, the risk of severe 
life-threatening complications is about 10 times higher in Africa than in 
southeast Asia and the western Pacific. 

"Getting the numbers right is important," said Snow. "Not knowing the size of 
the problem limits our ability to articulate how much money we need to tackle 
the problem -- not knowing where the problem is located means you can't spend 

The Roll Back Malaria campaign, organized by the WHO, the United Nations (news 
- web sites) Children's Fund (UNICEF (news - web sites)), the United Nations 
Development Program (UNDP) and the World Bank (news - web sites), aims to halve 
malaria deaths by the year 2010. 


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