Ebola crisis ‘may harm malaria fight’

A leading malaria control expert has said efforts to contain the disease may be jeopardised by the Ebola crisis.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-TraorĂ©, who heads the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership, said after visiting west Africa: “Understandably, all the health workers’ attention is on Ebola.”

Children’s wards which used to be full of malaria patients were becoming “ghost areas,” she added.

In 2012, malaria killed 7,000 people in the three countries worst hit by Ebola.

Most of these will have been young children – although malaria is curable.

The disease caused almost 4,000 deaths in Sierra Leone in 2012 – as well as around 2,000 deaths in Liberia and approximately 1,000 in Guinea.


Reported Ebola cases pass 10,000

The World Health Organisation has reported that the number of cases in the Ebola outbreak has now passed 10,000 resulting in nearly 5,000 deaths. The three worst-hit countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have accounted for all but 27 deaths

Mali has become the latest West African nation to record a death from Ebola where a two-year-old girl has died. More than 40 people are known to have come into contact with her and have been quarantined.

Liberia remains the worst affected country where there have been 2,705 reported deaths, followed by Sierra Leone with 1,281 fatalities and 926 in Guinea.

The WHO said the number of cases was now 10,141 but that the figure could be much higher, as many families were hiding relatives at home rather than taking them to treatment centres.

Most medical centres are now reported to be overcrowded.