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:
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.
EU-funded researchers have discovered that drugs originally designed to inhibit the growth of cancer cells can also kill the parasite that causes malaria. They believe this discovery could open up a new strategy for combating this deadly disease, which infects 250 million and kills nearly 1 million people worldwide every year. Efforts to find a treatment have so far been marred by the parasite’s ability to quickly develop drug resistance. The research was published online in the journal Cellular Microbiology.
For more information: