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Malaria Eradication

Malaria most often affects women and childrenMalaria is one of the most critical and important issues addressed by The Sumba Foundation. Here are some facts on Malaria:

  • Malaria kills more people globally than HIV/AIDs
  • All forms of Malaria are preventable and curable.
  • Malaria can only be transmitted by the infected anopheles mosquitoes or through the donation of infected blood.
  • Untreated Malaria can kill or result in permanent brain damage, particularly cerebral malaria.
  • Malaria is most common among children and pregnant women.
  • Malaria during pregnancy can result in still birth or reduced birth weight.

Malaria is the poor man’s disease and its common throughout most of the third world. As a result of our initial Malaria surveys, conducted by the Foundation’s Phase One Malaria Eradication Program, in December 2003, we have been able to determine that:

  • Sumba Island has one of the highest occurrences of Malaria in South East Asia
  • 20% of all children born in Sumba die or are brain damaged by Malaria before they reach the age of 10.
  • Sumba has one of the least developed economies in Indonesia and it has a poorly developed infrastructure.
  • The government health facilities have limited geographical reach and very limited funding for services and development.

Malaria prevention supplies in a villageIn October 2003, Dr Claus Bogh, an internationally recognized entomologist, was engaged by the Foundation to do a base-line Malaria survey of the coastal area of South West Sumba.

Our intent was to assess the severity of malaria infection in several coastal villages, and to develop a successful intervention program that would work in the test area. The initial assessment involved blood testing of more than 250 people living in three villages.

The results of the initial survey showed that a large percentage of all villagers in the test areas were infected with some form of Malaria and that in these areas all four major Malaria strains were prevalent.

As a result, in April 2004, we initiated Phase One of our Malaria Eradication Program, a one year project that has already proven to have saved many lives in a very short time.