About Malaria

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal vector-borne disease. A vector is something that carries a disease from one living thing to another. The disease is caused by single celled parasitic protozoans that are transmitted to humans by specific mosquitoes. Other transmission methods do exist though (see transmission of disease). Malaria is a problem in 97 countries and territories across the globe, inhabited by about 40% of the world population. The estimate of malaria incidence is about 300 million clinical cases per year of which countries in Africa account for more than 90% of the cases. Malaria mortality is estimated at over half a million deaths worldwide per year. Most of these deaths occur in young children, under the age of five years, mostly in Africa and especially in remote rural areas. Other high risk groups include displaced people, labour workers starting in endemic areas, non-immune travellers, refugees and especially women during pregnancy. The disease causes a huge drain on the national economies of many of the endemic countries due to its high morbidity and mortality rates. The disease maintains the cycle of disease and poverty because most endemic countries are amongst the poorest nations. In spite of it being such a devastating disease, illness and death from malaria can be prevented most of the time.

For more information (FAQs), please link to the University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control

Please also download the Malaria Buddy App if you are travelling to a malaria area.

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