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:
Mankind has been at war with mosquitoes down through the ages because of the threat they pose through malaria. ""I've been in the business of mosquitoes for the last 22 years, studying these insects not only because they are fascinating, but also because they cause a lot of trouble in the world through diseases like malaria, which still every year cause the death of more than 700,000 people worldwide," says Bart Knols, a medical entomologist.
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.
For more information: