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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 November 2005, 18:11 GMT
How can malaria be controlled?
A mosquito
World leaders are meeting in Tunisia to discuss the digital divide, but is technological change helping Africa to move forward?

What should be done to stop Africa's number one killer disease?

An estimated 3,000 children die every day from malaria in Africa although this loss of life is largely avoidable and preventable.

Despite years of research and a number of international initiatives, no effective vaccine has yet emerged.

As world scientists meet in Cameroon to look at new ways of combating malaria, send us your thoughts.

Why is this age old parasite still killing our loved ones? What should be done to at least halve the number of people affected by malaria? Other parts of the world have rid themselves of malaria, why hasn't Africa?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your comments:

Africans have to realize that, as descent human beings do not have to live in filth and amongst rubbish just because our leaders continue to deprive and exploit us. Even if there were an effective vaccine, African leaders will not be able to supply enough - only the rich will be spared. So, let's keep our communities free of anything that creates breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Let's depend on ourselves, as first-responders to our crises; not others.
Jeneba Bangura, Sierra Leone/New York

Only healthy people can produce a healthy economy
Samuel Batumbu, Gosport, UK
The diagnosis of the disease in African hospitals is not accurate and some of the time people use anti malaria drugs even though they have not been diagnosed with malaria in the laboratory. The unnecessary use of anti malaria drugs have made the parasite develop resistance to any new drug. If medical facilities are improved and people are diagnosed as positive before taking the drugs I believe it will help to solve the problem of drug resistance. African governments should invest in health because only healthy people can produce a healthy economy.
Samuel Batumbu, Gosport, UK

They told me I was sick because I was pregnant
Chinwe Achebe, Chicago, USA
I almost died from malaria 10 years ago. I saw two doctors who did not do any test. They told me that I was sick because I was pregnant. My life was saved here in Chicago where there is no malaria. Something can be done to save people's lives.
Chinwe Achebe, Chicago, USA

I am presently campaigning to raise awareness and secure resources to help improve the lives of my people at Ukambani District of Kenya. This campaign will involve environmental and public Health issues. One of the main areas of concern will be ways to help eliminate Malaria. I will use many of your suggestions posted on this website. Thank you BBC producers for bringing up this topic for public awareness.
Josephat M Mua, Kenyan in USA

Spray the breeding grounds and manage the environment. The US sprays its areas where mosquitoes can breed. Why not adapt the same procedure for Africa?
Raphael Abanja, Buffalo, NY. United States

I am not optimistic that an effective malaria vaccine will be found. Unlike AIDS, most developed countries are not willing to spent millions on diseases, like malaria, that their citizens don't suffer from. I think the only way to bring malaria under control is to start re-using the infamous powerful DDT chemical again. It is cheap and easily manufactured. USA, Europe and most Asian Countries used that chemical successfully to eradicate malaria. We have to use DDT irrespective of its long run hazardous effects on environment.
Mayik Koriom, Dayton, USA

I would rather be dead than alive
Iriemenam, Lagos

Malaria is a constant worry to me, I suffer chronically from it. Even at the moment I'm battling hard against it. The kind of drugs prescribed to me is the best in the country. However, the side effects are so bad that I am left feeling I would rather be dead than alive. With no view of a possible vaccine in the nearest future, one significant control methods is the use of insecticide treated bed net.
Iriemenam, Lagos, Nigeria

Until malaria takes a hit on the West, no-one will spend their money trying to cure or prevent the disease. African governments should seriously consider a joint venture to research on a cure or vaccine for our own diseases. We need to embrace biotechnology to solve our own problems because we are the ones taking the hit and paying dearly for it.
Wanjeri, Boston, USA

Re-introduce DDT which is still effective in controlling mosquitoes. Its advantages are more than its harm.
Andrew Kibe, Dallas, Texas

With its open sewage and drain systems, Africa has a long way to go in its battle to eradicate malaria.
Adewale Adebanjo, London, UK

Educating the population on malaria control measures and ensuring that malaria control policies are strictly carried out will considerably reduce incidents of malaria infections in Africa.
Lovinah Odigie, Lagos, Nigeria

It's difficult to control malaria in the continent because the majority of people's livelihoods centre around open water bodies. Add to this the hot/humid climate and you have the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. While tools for malaria prevention, treatment and control exist, these remain out of the reach of affected communities, who tend to be poor and marginalized. Malaria also does not manifest in obvious symptoms as happens with HIV/Aids, and thus continues to lack attention as a major public health problem.
Jen, Nairobi, Kenya

Malaria is the neglected butcher of the continent. The silent killer.
Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Cameroon

I have seen more people die from malaria than Aids. What baffles me is the fact that malaria is so easy to prevent, detect and cure. Whilst spending time and money debating about a vaccine, please can we educate people on keeping their environments clean?
Ope Ogundokun, Nigerian/Mozambique

The pools of stagnant water especially numerous in poorer rural and urban areas are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Wambui, Kenyan/Washington, DC

My family and I, especially one of my daughters, suffer terribly from the debilitating effects of malaria. Some doctors say the frequency and regularity of our attacks are due to our blood group (A-positive). Whatever the reason, I suffer loss of wage resulting from days spent taking treatment, and my daughter, who is six-years-old, loses many days absent from school. If this was happening in the West, scientists would have found a cure by now.
Abdulai Musa, Lagos, Nigeria

I feel really sorry for malaria victims. I lost a loved one from malaria. I don't want it to happen again.
Vuyof Kevin Ryhmes, Bamenda, Cameroon

I think the solution lies with ourselves, with us Africans. They say "cleanliness leads to Godliness", so we must start cleaning our gutters and get rid of the filth. We must start educational campaigns of cleanliness.
Amegbe Hayford, Ghana





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