Malaria rates plunge in The Gambia

The Gambia could become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate malaria, reports Reuters.

The prevalence of the malaria parasite in children under five has plunged to 0.2% from 4 % in 2011, according to the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

The total number of new malaria cases in the country has fallen by about 40% in that time – to 155,450 last year down from 262,000 in 2011, NMCP data shows.

Aside from the usual control measures, such as antimalarial drugs, insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor spraying, Gambia has successfully used technology to tackle malaria, Carla Fajardo from aid agency Catholic Relief Services told Reuters.

Internet service providers have boosted bandwidth in remote areas meaning they could collect real-time data and could make decisions on the fly, while , Ms Fajardo said.

Gambia is aiming to achieve the milestone of having no new malaria cases by 2020, NMCP head Balla Kandeh told Reuters.


Source: BBC



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