Malaria situation in Uganda: Malaria is highly endemic in 95% of the country, with approximately 90% of the population of an estimated 33 million people at risk. In some areas of northern Uganda the infective biting rates by the mosquitoes that transmit malaria have been among the highest recorded in the world. *1
In 2010 malaria killed over 660,00, about 1,800 a day. *2
Malaria is the leading killer of children under five in Africa. A newborn starts being vulnerable to malaria at four months of age when the maternal immunity to diseases diminishes. Children infected with the parasite will then start getting two to five malarial fevers every year. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable.
Bed nets treated with insecticide have proven highly effective in killing mosquitoes and preventing malaria transmission. A major challenge is getting bed nets to the people who need and want them but can not afford the nets. To succeed in poor communities, resources are needed for free, mass distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets. These nets save lives.
Drug resistance is one of the greatest challenges because the bugs that transmit malaria have developed resistance to Chloroquine, the cheapest and most widely used anti-malarial drug. Many countries have changed their treatment policies and are starting to use drugs, such as Artemisinin, that are more effective; however, these drugs are much more expensive which makes it unaffordable for many. (Uganda has declared artemisinin the official anti-malarial drug.)
Per Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute *3
- Approximately 10 percent of hospital admissions in Africa are due to malaria.
- A single bout of malaria is estimated to cost a sum equivalent to 10-20 working days in India and Africa.
- A very-low-income African family, whose yearly income is $68, spends $19 for malaria treatment each year.
Malaria-endemic countries are among the world's most impoverished.
The cost of malaria control and treatment drains Africa's economies.
Endemic countries have to use scarce hard currency on drugs, nets and insecticides.
Malaria causes death, reduces the productivity of agriculture, affects tourism and external investment.
The spread of drug-resistant malaria is substantially raising the costs of treatment. Multi-national firms choosing the location of foreign investments shun regions with high malaria transmission rates.