Ethiopia’s fight against Anopheles stephensi is being spearheaded by USAID.
The busy market and distinctive, vibrant architecture of Dire-Dawa, the fourth-most populated city in Ethiopia, are well-known.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne illness that may be particularly lethal for small children and pregnant women, has, unfortunately, become the city’s most recent distinction.
In Dire-Dawa, the incidence of malaria has typically been low. The city only recorded 205 occurrences in 2019, but 2,400 cases—almost a 10-fold increase—were documented from January to June 2022.
Humans have been afflicted by malaria for millennia; among its victims were Cleopatra and Alexander the Great.
It was previously thought that just a few African mosquito species were responsible for the transmission of malaria.
96% of malaria fatalities and 95% of cases in the globe are already found in Africa. An extra 126 million people may be at risk for malaria if An. stephensi spreads over all of Africa.
That number exceeds the combined populations of New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Florida, California, and Texas.
Furthermore, the number of cases of malaria in Ethiopia alone might rise by 50% if the mosquito population continues to grow.
TheU.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), coordinated by USAID and executed in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has financed research in Ethiopia that has contributed significantly to our understanding of An. stephensi outside of its geographic distribution.
PMI’s help ranges from mosquito population research to malaria patient treatment through cooperation with the Ministry of Health, local health offices, the Armauer Hansen Research Institute, and others.
Since 2008, PMI has backed Ethiopia’s National Malaria Elimination Program in its mission to reduce the number of malaria cases and fatalities, and it is not giving up now.