World Malaria Day: EU Research
According to the World Health Organisation, in 2010, an estimated 219 million malaria cases occurred globally and the disease killed about 660 000 people, mostly children under five years of age.
Since 2002, the EU has invested more than €209 million in 87 projects carrying out research into the disease and how to control it. In addition, through its partnership with sub-Saharan Africa (the EDCTP initiative), the EU is supporting 32 clinical trials into new treatments with some €50 million.
Thanks to the efforts of the EU and international community, as well as governments and health-care providers in endemic countries, malaria deaths have fallen by 25% since the year 2000.
Press release: EU research project develops new malaria test tool
More background information: Contribution of EU research to fight against Malaria
Here are two examples of successful, EU-funded malaria-related research projects:
An international team of scientists has discovered a key molecule that helps the malaria parasite evade the human body's immune system. Partially funded by the EU-backed EVIMALAR ('Towards the establishment of a permanent European virtual institute dedicated to malaria research') project and presented in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, the findings of this study could provide fresh insight into how the parasite that triggers disease can dodge the defences built by the immune system. EVIMALAR, meanwhile, is funded under the Health Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 12 million.
Scientists in Denmark and Tanzania have found that the mosquito carrying the malaria parasite is losing ground in various villages. The big question is why. Experts have been scratching their heads; there is no organised mosquito control, so how come 99% of these mosquitoes has disappeared?. While a number of theories have emerged, the lack of proper data cannot substantiate whether malaria is being eradicated or whether it is just dormant until the next wave hits. The study, presented in the Malaria Journal, was funded in part by the EU.
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