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Experts Suggest Malaria Can be Eliminated by 2050

One of the most widespread and deadly diseases, Malaria, can be eradicated from the face of the earth by 2050, says a report published on Sunday in the Lancet. The new report has been formed with a coalescence of 41 leading global malariologists, biomedical scientists, economists and experts of health-policy. According to the CDC, there were about 219 million reported cases of the infection which caused about 435,000 deaths worldwide.

Sir Richard Feachem, the co-chair of the Lancet Commission on malaria eradication and the director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, called the goal  “ambitious” yet “achievable.” He said that to reach the goal of eradicating malaria, global health communities need to collaborate in four key areas that include software, hardware, finance, and leadership. Feachem, who is the author, in the report said, “Malaria is one of the oldest and deadliest diseases of humankind. If we, humankind, were to take on this challenge and eradicate malaria by 2050, it would be an achievement of historic proportions. There would be nothing quite like it.”

A similarly fatal disease, smallpox, was successfully eradicated from the planet in 1979 following several vaccination programs. Polio, another viral disease is also progressing towards complete eradication. However, experts suggest that malaria, caused by the sporozoan parasite, is a much complex organism to treat in comparison to the other two viral diseases.

The report suggested that an extra $2 billion will have to be added each year to the sum of $4.3 billion, that is being spent currently every year on the program. The program shall require improved management, better data implementation, increased amount of accountability and development of innovative tools and technologies to combat the infection such as gene editing. There is also a need to produce advanced treatment methods such as readily accessible vaccines, quick diagnosis, insecticides, etc.

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