Saturday, November 06, 2010

Malaria Deaths Underestimated in India

I quote from Science magazine:
The number of people who die every year from malaria in India could be 13 times higher than current estimates, according to a new study.

Many malaria deaths occur outside of hospitals and thus aren't easily recorded. Malaria can also strike fast, making it even harder to track. To get a better estimate of malaria deaths in India, a team of international scientists led by Neeraj Dhingra of the National AIDS Control Organisation in New Delhi sent surveyors to randomly selected areas of the country; they asked families and other witnesses to describe deaths that had occurred there between 2001 and 2003.

When physicians reviewed the reports, they attributed 3.6% of roughly 75,000 deaths to malaria. That translates to 205,000 malaria deaths nationwide every year, the researchers report in The Lancet. Ninety percent occurred in rural areas, and 86% occurred outside of any sort of health facility. Previous World Health Organization (WHO) reports put the total at 15,000.
If this is the situation in India the malaria rates in other developing nations may also have been underestimated. Malaria remains a huge public health challenge, yet the techniques exist for the control of the disease and perhaps for its eradication, if we have the political will.

1 comment:

Ci-Sun said...

We went to india where people die of malaria a lot.We had to take malaria piolls everyday twice a day.