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J Vector Borne Dis. 2013 Dec;50(4):239-47.

Malaria successes and challenges in Asia.

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World Health Organization, Regional Office for South East Asia, Department of Communicable Diseases, New Delhi, India.


Asia ranks second to Africa in terms of malaria burden. In 19 countries of Asia, malaria is endemic and 2.31 billion people or 62% of the total population in these countries are at risk of malaria. In 2010, WHO estimated around 34.8 million cases and 45,600 deaths due to malaria in Asia. In 2011, 2.7 million cases and > 2000 deaths were reported. India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Pakistan are responsible for >85% of the reported cases (confirmed) and deaths in Asia. In last 10 yr, due to availability of donor's fund specially from Global fund, significant progress has been made by the countries in Asia in scaling-up malaria control interventions which were instrumental in reducing malaria morbidity and mortality significantly. There is a large heterogeneity in malaria epidemiology in Asia. As a result, the success in malaria control/elimination is also diverse. As compared to the data of the year 2000, out of 19 malaria endemic countries, 12 countries were able to reduce malaria incidence (microscopically confirmed cases only) by 75%. Two countries, namely Bangladesh and Malaysia are projected to reach 75% reduction by 2015 while India is projected to reach 50-75% only by 2015. The trend could not be assessed in four countries, namely Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Timor-Leste due to insufficient consistent data. Numerous key challenges need to be addressed to sustain the gains and eliminate malaria in most parts of Asia. Some of these are to control the spread of resistance in Plasmodium falciparum to artemisinin, control of outdoor transmission, control of vivax malaria and ensuring universal coverage of key interventions. Asia has the potential to influence the malaria epidemiology all over the world as well as to support the global efforts in controlling and eliminating malaria through production of quality-assured ACTs, RDTs and long-lasting insecticidal nets.

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