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Children from the poorest families are twice as likely to contract malaria than the least poor
Date:6/20/2013

The collaborative study, led by Durham University and the London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine, is published today in The Lancet and unusually brings together the health and development communities. Half the world's population is at risk from malaria. A review of studies from different locations across the world with risk factors for the disease showed clearly that in these impoverished communities, the risk of malaria was doubled in the poorest children compared with the least poor.

The team considered how aspects of development, such as improved house construction, could complement existing interventions such as insecticide-treated bednets or spraying insecticide on the walls of houses. Funding from the project came from the UK government's Department for International Development (DIFD). The team of researchers looked at the relationship between malaria and socio-economic status (SES) in children aged 15 and under.

A widely cited example suggests that a 10 per cent reduction in malaria is associated with 0.3 per cent growth in Gross Domestic Product in sub-Saharan Africa.**

Steve Lindsay, Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at Durham University said: "There has long been an association between poverty and malaria, but here we clearly demonstrate that in impoverished communities it is the poorest who suffer most, irrespective of where they live in the world. The fact that the chances of contracting the disease are so much higher among the poorest of the poor compared with the least poor is really quite startling.

"Wealth is positively associated with other factors known to be beneficial in combating the disease, including better educated parents, greater quality of housing, better access to treated bednets and antimalarials and improved nutritional status of children. Malaria and poverty therefore constitute a vicious cycle for the poorest households, exacerbating variation in h
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Contact: Claire Mulley
c.e.mulley@durham.ac.uk
01-913-346-077
Durham University
Source:Eurekalert

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