The malaria parasite is a formidable and wily foe. It has become deeply entrenched, and bobs and weaves through both its hosts -- man and mosquito -- with impunity. Within minutes of its injection into the skin by the bite of a female mosquito, it vanishes into the liver, becoming the proverbial needle in a haystack for seven to 14 days.
At WHO we estimate that the vast majority of deaths will be among malnourished children, children who contract malaria, and children who have diarrhea. Air pollution triggers pneumonia (one of the world's top killers of children under 5) and asthma, which already affects around 300 million people worldwide. So what can we do?
The World Health Organization estimates that around 198 million people contract malaria, and that over half a million die every year. If we take a step back and digest these numbers, we are looking at over 1,000 people dying every day, most of them children. In fact, the WHO says that every minute a child dies from malaria. How is this acceptable?
With the passing of World Malaria Day on Saturday, it's a good time to reflect on the spread of malaria and what can be done about it.