In the not too distant past, malaria could be found all around the globe – from China to Australia, Russia to South Africa and Canada to Argentina. Today, thanks to significant public health efforts over recent years, the malaria map has successfully been reduced to a fraction of its former self. Nevertheless, the disease continues to plague many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
In Latin America, the vast majority of the continent’s cases occur in Brazil. The burden is particularly high in Amazonia, where continued development in construction, mining and farming enables the disease to spread rapidly.
The reduction of the burden of malaria is one of the main objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and one the Brazilian Government is striving for in its ‘Brazil Without Misery’ plan. Thanks to the implementation of effective control efforts, recent years have seen a significant fall in the number of people suffering from malaria in Brazil (from over 600,0005 confirmed cases in 2000 to 270,0001 in 2011). Yet the burden remains devastating.