A new study has been released which seems to call into question widely held assumptions and beliefs concerning malaria.According to the report, published in leading scientific journal Lancet, annual deaths attributable to this tropical ailment are actually twice as common as had been believed. Furthermore, it was found that the majority of malaria fatalities are suffered by adults. This is in stark contrast to the previous understanding that suggested malaria deaths in adult populations were in fact exceedingly rare.
Given that international organizations including the Global Fund, DFid and the United Nations have expended significant resources battling malaria, the public health community is now scrambling to account for this substantial data discrepancy.
The deputy director in charge of malaria and infectious disease at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation argues that taxes and challenging data collection conditions are likely responsible for errors of this magnitude.
Dr. David Brandling-Bennett explained that gathering data in poverty-stricken regions is extremely daunting, particularly because malaria reporting requires several different estimation methods which are quite complicated in nature. The key going forward, according to the doctor, is to continue making improvements to data aggregation efforts and communication practices among members of the scientific community.
With the advent of improved modeling techniques and higher quality data, conventional wisdom regarding malaria is likely to be disproved with greater frequency.
An additional and substantial roadblock in the battle against malaria that is not widely recognized is the high tax and tariff burdens that affect regions where the disease is most prevalent.
It is common for the governments of malaria-burdened areas of the world to impose hefty taxes on key weapons in the fight against the disease, including drug therapies, bed netting and pesticides.
Experts lament what they see as the futility of some governments’ habit of assessing excessive tariffs on things that can promote better health among their citizens. Doing so increases the cost of wellness exponentially and impedes progress.
Though certain nations have responded by reducing or eliminating taxation on such items, other countries have kept them intact.
Even though malaria statistics have now been revealed to contain substantial miscalculations, the Gates Foundation does not intend to alter its strategies when it comes to combating the illness. Regardless of the actual numbers of effected individuals, the Foundation sees malaria as a massive problem that requires continued aggressive action.