???? Can we end malaria within our lifetime? | The Stream

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Each minute a child dies from malaria, a disease that disproportionately affects babies and children on the African continent. And with so much recent focus on COVID-19, attention on the parasitic disease has waned, leading to a surge in malaria cases and deaths in some countries.

In 2020, the World Health Organization estimated that 627,000 people died of the mosquito-borne illness. Africa was home to 96% of those malaria deaths as children under the age of five accounted for about 80% of all malaria deaths in the region.

There are now more ways to prevent the disease, including the world’s first malaria vaccine introduced in 2021. The vaccine - called RTS,S - offers only a 30% reduction in severe deadly malaria, but is still considered a breakthrough.

In the past two decades, the increased use of anti-malarial drugs and insecticide-treated bed nets have had a major impact in reducing the number of cases around the world. In 2021, China and El Salvador joined nine other countries that have, since 2015, been certified as malaria-free by the WHO. In 2019, global health experts believed that with greater funding and public health innovations, the disease could be eradicated as early as 2050.

In this episode of The Stream, we'll speak to those working to end the spread of malaria.

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