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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:

Mosquito © Shutterstock

Why vitamins could be key in fight against malaria

British and German researchers led by the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom have found that vitamins could help fight malaria. The findings of the study, presented in the journal Structure, could encourage the development of more effective drugs to fight this disease. This disorder affects more than 250 million people each year, and kills over 650 000 people. The study was funded in part by a grant under the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

Malaria parasites © EPFL

Cancer drugs to kill malaria parasite

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: