Addressing Malaria Morbidity and Mortality Through International Health Policy
Keywords: global health, malaria, health policy
Over half of the world’s population reside in regions where they are at risk of malaria infection. In 2006 there were an estimated 247 million cases in 109 countries with an estimated 881,000 deaths. Over 90% of these deaths were in Africa with 85% of children less than 5 years of age. Malaria is one of three targeted infectious diseases (also HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis) included in the United Nations 2000 Millennium Development Goals which the U.S. and other developed countries have made commitments to significantly reduce by 2015. For analysis of factors contributing to malaria cases and deaths, a country specific database has been developed for the 109 countries at risk which includes data from the U.N. Millennium Tracking Indicators, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization. Factors such as gross national income per capita, donor and government funding for malaria treatment and control, age distribution, mosquito bed net distribution and use, drug treatment coverage, child nutrition status, and political are included in the analysis. Surveillance data has shown a reduction in malaria cases and deaths in many countries outside of Africa and a few within that continent. However, progress has been uneven in Africa. This study will help to understand the contribution of international policy to the reduction of the burden of malaria as well as other contributing factors. This will assist policymakers on decisions regarding the adequacy of current international efforts and policies. Thus, programs can be refined to improve progress towards the Millennium Development Infectious Disease Goal.