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Understanding vector behaviour, World Health Day 2014

Apr 7, 2014

On World Health Day 2014, Malaria Consortium is highlighting the increasing risk to populations worldwide from vector-borne diseases. More than a billion people are infected each year from conditions such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever. Dengue is the world's fastest growing vector-borne disease, with a 30-fold increase in incidence over the last 50 years.

Spread by vectors such as mosquitoes, flies and ticks, vector-borne diseases have a devastating effect on the lives of some of the world’s poorest populations, yet they are preventable.

Despite significant international investment, malaria remains the most deadly vector-borne disease and results in over 200 million cases every year. There are an estimated 627,000 deaths annually from malaria, most of which are children under five in sub-Saharan Africa.

Although a scaling up of malaria prevention and control measures have resulted in a reduction in mortality rates, both the malaria parasite and its mosquito vector have evolved and developed a resistance to previous control measures.

The theme of World Health Day for 2014, vector-borne diseases, aims to raise awareness and understanding of vectors and the diseases they cause, their impact on populations worldwide and what communities can do to protect themselves. Understanding vector behaviour is a key component of Malaria Consortium’s work.  

Our Beyond Garki project, funded by UKaid /Department for International Development is an ambitious study and the first of its kind. It aims to understand recent changes in the malaria epidemic and recommend strategies to reduce its global impact on the lives of millions. The project also aims to support health services to monitor changes in malaria and to understand the impact of current interventions.

The project is currently being carried out in Ethiopia, Uganda and Cambodia and will enable recommendations which emerge to have application across a wide range of different settings globally.

To learn more about our work on malaria epidemiology click here.

To visit our Beyond Garki photo gallery, click here.

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