From data gathered around the world experts predict that the deadliest type of malaria can be eradicated in 10 to 15 years. The disease affects half the global population and kills an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide every year. The organism responsible for deaths is commonly Plasmodium falciparum. The parasite is at its most deadly in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90 per cent of malaria fatalities occur.
The team has studied the P. falciparum parasite from around the world for five years and has come up with a forecast of its final demise. They predict that if transmission rates can be reduced beyond a threshold of 90 per cent, the organism could be eradicated from most areas where it is still prevalent in 10 to 15 years. The finding appears in the medical journal Lancet.
Andrew Tatem from the University of Florida in the US and a team of international experts said, “In general, elimination from countries in the Americas is most feasible using current tools, and least feasible for most sub-Saharan countries.” Tatem with his counterpart Professor David Smith led the project to map and model the spread of P. falciparum. Smith said, “Civil and economic strife is always good for malaria and bad for people.” Drug resistant malaria is another menace that plagues the control of the disease.