Lifestyle

Malaria reduced by 50% in the past year

Wafa A.Alkhazzan

Malaria has been an important health problem in Yemen for several decades, spreading due to various social, economic, and ecological problems. 65% of Yemenis are at risk of malaria all over the country. However, observers claim that the incidence of malaria has reduced from 4.5% to 2.6% in 2013, with the ultimate goal of eradicating the disease.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Population Majeed al-Jonaid praised the figures.

“There is a comprehensive strategy at play for combating malaria in the Arabian peninsula in coordination with the Gulf Cooperation Council, and also existing efforts to reduce mortality rates in Tihama region and to reach eradication.”

Al-Jonaid called for even greater coordination going forward, and pointed out that the Ministry aims to eliminate malaria in Yemen by 2020. Although he praises international assistance, it remains true that World Health Organization funds have not been enough to adequately fight the disease.

Dr. Adel al-Gasari, Director-General for the national program against malaria, said that he remains optimistic, although 70% of confirmed cases were only detected after diagnosis. He pointed out that the rate of malaria has still declined in all governorates.

Dr. Adel al-Jassar revealed that three million nets have been distributed in thirteen provinces, though he admitted that the rate of using these nets is very small due to a lack of education. He stressed that Yemenis need to know how to prevent malaria with sprays and protection such as the nets, and to challenge the idea that there are secret purposes apart from combating the disease.