malaria testing Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Der Sieg über die Malaria

JEDDAH – Malaria war lange Zeit eine der schlimmsten tödlichen Krankheiten unseres Zeitalters. Daten der Weltgesundheitsorganisation zeigen, dass etwa die Hälfte der Weltbevölkerung von der Seuche gefährdet ist. Aber etwa 90% der Malariaerkrankungen und 92% der Todesfälle konzentrieren sich auf eine einzige Region: Afrika südlich der Sahara, auch Schwarzafrika genannt.

In Europa und Nordamerika gibt es überhaupt keine Malaria. Aber die Kinder in Schwarzafrika müssen oft bereits vor ihrem fünften Lebensjahr mehrere Schübe dieser Krankheit ertragen. Auf Kinder unter fünf fallen 70% der Malariatoten. Und schwangere Frauen, die sich mit Malaria infizieren, können schwere Gesundheitsschäden erleiden.

Die gute Nachricht ist, dass der Kampf gegen die Malaria in jüngster Zeit Fortschritte gemacht hat. An den meisten Orten geht die Anzahl der Infektionen stetig zurück, und seit 2010 ist die Anzahl der durch Malaria verursachten Todesfälle um 29% gefallen. Teilweise lassen sich diese Fortschritte auf Innovationen zurückführen – wie neue und minutenschnelle Diagnosetests, besser verfügbare und erschwinglichere Medikamente und die immer stärkere Verbreitung von Netzen, die mit lang anhaltenden Insektiziden getränkt sind (LLINs). Auch mehr Öffentlichkeitsarbeit spielt dabei eine Rolle. Populäre Musiker, Medien und Religionsführer setzen sich für die Bekämpfung der Malaria ein.

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