World Malaria Report 2008

The large, round numbers that delineate the immense and
persistent burden of malaria have become a familiar part
of discussions in the global public health forum: 3 billion
people at risk of infection in 109 malarious countries and
territories and around 250 million cases annually, leading
to approximately 1 million deaths. In 2004, Plasmodium
falciparum was among the leading causes of death worldwide
from a single infectious agent (1).

These commonly-cited statistics have underpinned a
renewed assault on malaria, which has been under way
since the turn of the millennium. There is an emerging
consensus on how best to use refined methods for malaria
prevention and treatment, notably long-lasting insecticidal
nets (LLIN) and artemisinin-based combination therapy
(ACT), backed by indoor residual praying (IRS) (2–4). More
widespread agreement on policy and strategy has stimulated
leaders of the countries most affected, backed by
international organizations and donors, to set increasingly
ambitious targets for control: that is, to achieve at least
80% coverage of key interventions by 2010 (5). Beyond
Scaling Up For Impact (SUFI) (6), Malaria No More (7) and
renewed calls for action by the UN Secretary General, there
is active debate about the possibility of large-scale malaria
elimination (8–10).

As malaria control intensifies, it is vital to monitor
malaria burden and trends, and to track the coverage
and impact of interventions. While malaria undoubtedly
imposes a major burden on health, estimates of the numbers
of cases and deaths have been, for many countries,
too inaccurate to establish firm baselines against which
to evaluate the success of control measures. Therefore,
while each year more people are protected against infected
mosquitoes, and more have access to correct antimalarial
medicines, measures of the number of people who need
and who receive these services are still not sufficiently
precise, either for programme planning or for evaluation
against coverage targets. Most difficult of all is the assessment
of epidemiological impact. Although malaria control
programmes are not conducted as controlled experiments,
there are valid methods for evaluating impact from surveillance
and survey data. However, all such methods require
accurate data.

World malaria Report 2008 (pdf)

~ oleh Pratama Adi pada November 11, 2008.

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