A team of 41 scientists on Sunday set a closer deadline by 2050 to have eradicated malaria from the face of earth- according to a review by The Lancet Medical Journal.

“For too long, malaria eradication has been a distant dream, but now we have evidence that malaria can and should be eradicated by 2050,” said Richard Feachem, director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, who co-chaired a review of malaria eradication commissioned by The Lancet medical journal.

In 2017, malaria infected about 219 million people and killed around 435,000 of them — the vast majority babies and children in the poorest parts of Africa.

Similarly, due to ongoing transmission, half the world’s population is still at risk of contracting malaria, and globally, it kills a child every two minutes.

Global case numbers had previously fallen steadily from 239 million in 2010 to 214 million in 2015, and deaths from 607,000 to around 500,000 from 2010 to 2013.

“If we double down on ending malaria now, the world will reap massive social, humanitarian and economic benefits and save millions of people from needlessly dying from mosquito bites,” said Martin Edlund, head of the campaign group Malaria No More.

The Lancet Commission said existing malaria-fighting tools such as bednets, medicines and insecticides should be used more smartly, it said, and new tools such as vaccines should be developed.

Finally, governments in both malaria-affected and malaria-free countries need to boost investment by about $2 billion a year to accelerate progress.

The Express News

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