Malaria - changing paradigms

Published on December 28, 2016   49 min

Other Talks in the Therapeutic Area: Infectious Diseases

I am Janet Cox Singh. I work in the School of Medicine, University of St. Andrews. I've worked on malaria since 1983, which is a very long time and I have had the opportunity to see things change, sometimes they get better, sometimes they get worse. The title of my talk today is Malaria - Changing Paradigms, and I'll try to discuss how we are addressing malaria right now in 2016. I'll talk mostly about drugs and how we treat malaria.
I'll start with the malaria statistics that became available in 2015. Currently, about just under half of the world's population are at risk of contracting malaria, being infected by malaria parasite. Now, obviously not all of those 3.2 billion people are at the same level of risk. Some of them are at extremely low risk, others very, very high risk and, in fact, even within one country the different populations within that country can be at totally different risks, so it's very difficult to generalize. All we can say is that too many people are still at risk of contracting malaria in the world today. The WHO reported that there were 214 million cases of malaria in 2015. Now that's a number and that's an estimate, it can't be real because malaria occurs in rural areas of the most resource-poor countries in the world. So to gather data actually takes money and time, it takes an infrastructure, and in a lot of places where malaria is transmitted those infrastructures aren't there. So again, this is an estimate, the real number is that we do not know. Also in 2015, there were 438,000 reported deaths due to malaria. The same rules apply. We actually do not know and that is the estimate. What we do know is that 88% of the cases and 90% of the deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. And I've given a link to that malaria fact sheet that was updated in 2016, that has all of these details and an awful lot more information.