More than 200 million people around the world suffered from malaria in 2017. Over 400,000 died. The vast majority – around 90% – were in Africa, where many are all too familiar with the devastating impact of the disease. Young children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable.
Protective measures can help significantly to reduce the burden. This includes spraying with insecticides and using mosquito nets. But 100% coverage using these methods is impossible. Until the disease is eradicated, availability of effective treatments is critical.
This is why drugs are critical to managing the disease. But even here new challenges are beginning to emerge. For example, in South East Asia, drug resistance to current first-line treatment has become a cause for concern. It threatens progress made in recent years against malaria. The only way to overcome this threat is to discover new agents against malaria that are safe, effective and affordable.
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