malaria testing Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Éliminer le paludisme

DJEDDAH – Le paludisme a longtemps été l’une des principales maladies mortelles de notre époque. Les données de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé montrent qu’au moins la moitié de la population mondiale est en danger. Mais environ 90 % des cas de paludisme et 92 % des décès causés par le paludisme surviennent dans une seule région : l’Afrique subsaharienne.

Le paludisme a complètement disparu de l’Europe et l’Amérique du Nord. Mais les enfants de l’Afrique subsaharienne souffrent de multiples épisodes de ce mal avant qu’ils atteignent cinq ans. Et les enfants de moins de cinq ans comptent pour 70 % des décès causés par le paludisme. Les femmes enceintes qui contractent la maladie risquent de subir de graves complications de santé.

On doit cependant se féliciter du regain récent de la lutte contre le paludisme, les infections en baisse constante dans la plupart des régions ainsi que les décès causés par le paludisme en baisse de 29 % depuis 2010. Les progrès peuvent être attribués en partie aux innovations, notamment de nouveaux tests rapides de diagnostic qui donnent les résultats en quelques minutes, des médicaments plus accessibles et abordables contre le paludisme et un emploi plus courant de moustiquaires imprégnées d’insecticide à longue durée (MILD). Une plus grande mobilisation communautaire a également aidé, accompagné des musiciens populaires, des organes de presse et des chefs religieux se prononçant en faveur de mesures plus énergiques contre le paludisme.

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