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Lucina: Highlights from the literature

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There have been renewed calls for, and renewed hope of, malaria eradication. In 2007 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation renewed a call for malaria eradication, and in 2011 the UN Secretary General set a goal of abolishing malaria mortality by 2015. Such goals need better and up to date statistics to measure realistic aims and progress. Estimates of malaria mortality for 1980–2010 have been reported (Lancet 2012;379:413–31; see also editorial ibid: 385). They show that estimated global malaria deaths increased from 995 000 in 1980 to a high of 1 817 000 in 2004 before decreasing to 1 238 000 in 2010. In sub-Saharan Africa the increase was from 493 000 in 1980 to 1 613 000 in 2004 before falling to 1 133 000 in 2010. In Africa the number of malaria deaths in children <5 years old was 377 000 in 1980, 1 047 000 in 2004, and 699 000 in 2010. The corresponding figures for people aged 5 years or older in Africa were 116 000 in 1980, 569 000 in 2006, and 435 000 in 2010. In the rest of the world deaths from malaria have fallen steadily from 502 000 in 1980 to 104 000 in 2010. Malaria deaths in children <5 years old fell steadily from 199 000 in 1980 to 15 000 in 2010 whilst deaths from malaria in people aged 5 years and older decreased from 303 000 to 89 000. Nevertheless, in 2008 almost a quarter (24%) of all child deaths in Africa were due to malaria. The estimates are larger than previous ones, especially …

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