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Malaria Rates in Zanzibar Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?)

Malaria Rates in Zanzibar Rise and Fall (and Rise Again?)

A few weeks ago, we covered some new work from David L. Smith and collaborators documenting the history of malaria and intervention efforts in Zanzibar.  Here it is visualized (you can also download this graphic from the Tools section of our website):

 

The blue bars represent malaria control programs the graph shows the Sisyphean cycle of malaria on the island, rising and falling with program funding.  What it tells us is that malaria in Zanzibar has persisted as a threat, even if not a visible one. 

It also tells us that the debate in Zanzibar shouldn t be as much about control vs. elimination of malaria as it should be about how to maintain continuity of funding.  The benefits of sustaining malaria interventions are felt not only in the pursuit of eliminating the disease but also in terms of averted disease burden and mortality in this case, sustained interventions could prevent approximately 660,000 cases and 3,300 malaria-attributable deaths each year.

More about malaria in Zanzibar, and why the small island is an important proving ground in the global malaria effort.