World Malaria Day: 5 facts about the fight against the disease

On Saturday April 25 people across the world celebrate World Malaria Day, but some of us may not know enough about the disease that affects the lives of so many on the continent.

CapeTalk and 702 presenters Azania Mosaka and Africa Melane spoke to Mary Anne Groepe, resident entomologist at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Groepe says that there has been some progress made in the fight against the disease, attributed to the increased intervention efforts of medical practitioners.

We've scaled up a lot on our intervention and a lot of money has been put into malaria. We've increased the number of kits that we do testing with and the drug treatment has also improved.

5 facts about malaria, according to WHO

  • About 3.2 billion people – almost half of the world's population – are at risk of malaria.
  • Malaria costs the African continent about 12 Billion US Dollars a year. This is due to increased health care costs, effects on tourism and the losses in a productive workforce.
  • There were an estimated 584 000 malaria deaths (with an uncertainty range of 367 000 to 755 000) in 2013.
  • The malaria mortality rate has declined by 47% globally since 2000.
  • The malaria mortality rate has declined by by 54% in the WHO African Region.

"Invest in the future. Defeat malaria." is the theme for this year's international awareness raising day. Visit the WHO website for more information.

Listen to the full conversation on the Weekend Breakfast Show:

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