Study: Ebola Outbreak Likely Driving Malaria Deaths

Friday, April 24, 2015

The collapse of health services in three west African countries devastated by Ebola may have caused some 11,000 additional deaths from malaria, a preventable and curable disease, researchers said Friday.

A further 3,900 deaths may have resulted from interruptions in the delivery of insecticide-treated bed nets, according to outbreak modelling data published in The Lancet on the eve of World Malaria Day.

This suggested the haemorrhagic fever outbreak “could have resulted in a comparable number of malaria deaths as those due to Ebola itself,” said a statement issued by the medical journal.

“The ongoing Ebola epidemic in parts of West Africa largely overwhelmed already fragile healthcare systems in 2014 making adequate care for malaria impossible,” said Patrick Walker from Imperial College London, the lead author of the study.

Walker and a team analysed demographic and health survey data for malaria prevention and care from 2000 to March 2014 in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

They “removed” the effect of treatment and hospital care to estimate the potential impact.

Source: Yahoo! (link opens in a new window)

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infectious diseases