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Pakistan among contributors to 81% P vivax malaria deaths last year: WHO

Pakistan is among the four countries that has accounted 81 per cent of estimated deaths globally due to P. vivax malaria during year 2015, a latest World Health Organization (WHO) report reveals.

Besides Pakistan, Ethiopia, India and Indonesia also accounted for 78 per cent of P. vivax cases globally during last year, report added.

Malaria is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium. Human malaria is caused by four different species of Plasmodium: P. falciparum, P. malariae, P. ovale and P. vivax.

According to ‘World Malaria Report 2016’ issued by WHO on Tuesday, about 4 per cent of estimated cases globally are caused by P. vivax, but outside the African continent this proportion increases to 41 per cent.

“Most cases of malaria caused by P. vivax occur in the WHO South-East Asia Region (58%), followed by the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (16%) and the WHO African Region (12%). About 76% of estimated malaria cases in 2015 occurred in just 13 countries,” report said.

The report, signed with Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General World Health Organization, said in 2015, an estimated 212 million cases of malaria occurred worldwide, a fall of 22% since 2000 and of 14% since 2010.

“Most of the cases in 2015 were in the WHO African Region (90%), followed by the WHO South-East Asia Region (7%) and the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (2%),” report stated.

However it says that despite remarkable progress, malaria continues to have a devastating impact on people’s health and livelihoods.

The World Malaria Report, published annually by WHO, provides an in-depth analysis of progress and trends in the malaria response at global, regional and country levels.

Children are especially vulnerable, accounting for more than two thirds of global malaria deaths. Malaria in pregnancy can lead to maternal mortality, anemia and low birth weight, a major cause of infant mortality.

“We have made excellent progress, but our work is incomplete. Last year alone, the global tally of malaria reached 212 million cases and 429 000 deaths. Across Africa, millions of people still lack access to the tools they need to prevent and treat the disease,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General WHO.

Report says long-lasting insecticidal nets are the mainstay of malaria prevention. It also recommends their use for all people at risk of malaria.

Source: Daily Times

Byline: Staff Report

December 14, 2016

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