The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that resaech experts in malaria have unable to formulate a clear strategy timeline for the eradication of the disease.
It said that theoretically malaria is possible to eradicate. He, however admitted that the possibility is probably not with the imperfect vaccine and other control methods being used..
Speaking on Thursday, the UN health agency’s global malaria director, Dr. Pedro Alonso, said WHO is in favour of malaria eradication. He added that the major questions about the feasibility remains an issue for concern.
Alonso disclosed this while presenting the results of a WHO-commissioned report evaluation on eradicating malaria to the public. He said that with the tools we have today, it is most unlikely eradication will be achieved.
Experts perspective on Malaria Eradication Dicey
Alonso said the experts concluded that lingering uncertainties meant that they were unable to formulate a clear strategy. Therefore couldn’t propose a definitive timeline or cost estimate for eradication.
According Alonso, WHO has long grappled with the idea of erasing malaria from the planet. Moreover, he pointed out that an eradication campaign was first attempted in 1955 before being abandoned more than a twelve years later.
For decades, Alonso said health officials were chastened from even discussing eradication. He discuss began when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation threw its considerable resources behind the idea.
Alonso said: “Although several African countries began immunising children against malaria in national programs, the efforts have only protects about one third of children this year.
“Smallpox is the only human disease to ever have been eradicated. In 1988, WHO and partners began a global campaign that aimed to wipe out polio by 2000.
“Despite numerous effective vaccines and billions of invested dollars, efforts have stalled in recent years. Officials have repeatedly missed eradication targets.”
Malaria kills about 435,000 people every year in Africa
On his part, Alister Craig, dean of biological sciences at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine said:”The parasitic disease kills about 435,000 people every year, mostly in Africa.
“An effective vaccine is something we desperately need if we’re ever going to get malaria under control. But, we just don’t have it.
“A previous trial showed the vaccine was about 30 per cent effective in children who got four doses, but that protection waned over time.”
The Dean also raised concerns about whether malaria programs would be able to raise the billions needed. He gave other competing eradication campaigns, like those for polio, guinea worm and lymphatic filariasis as key.