By dr. Ridwan Gustiana Student of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Msc International Public Health, Mainstreaming Humanitarian Study
Fighting malaria is one of the aims stated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by United Nations for the new millennium. International communities partnered with participating governments have, therefore, been increasing their efforts to improve policies and implement new and innovative strategies to reach the target of halving the burden of malaria disease in 2015 (UN, 2010).
There are 247 million cases of malaria occurring annually and 212 million cases are occurring in sub Saharan Africa. 3.3 billion people are at risk from malaria transmission, which is almost half of the world population. There are almost 1 million deaths because of malaria each year, 85% of them are children under five and 95% of all malaria related death happens in Africa. (Roll Back Malaria, 2010; WHO, 2010)
By definition Disaster is “serious event that cause an ecological background in the relation between humans and their environment on the scale that requires extraordinary efforts to allow the stricken community to cope, even with outside help or international aid”. Disaster can be categorized into natural disaster and man-made disaster. The natural disaster is usually linked with geological and climatic hazards while man made disasters or mostly known as Complex Humanitarian Emergencies usually linked with the breakdown of authority with resulting internal or external conflict (Spiegel,P.B. 2007).
Since the millennium, there have been more than 35 conflicts and 2,500 natural disasters, which have affected more than two billion people and caused millions of deaths (UNEP, 2010). Disaster, either natural or man made such as conflict or war, has become a major cause of population displacement.
Interestingly, most of the countries affected by disaster especially by complex humanitarian emergencies are also burdened with a high number of Malaria cases. Of 27.1 million internally displaced populations by conflict in 2009, 11.6 million of them are living in 21 countries in Africa (IDMC, 2009). There are 120 million populations at risk from both malaria is affected by complex emergency. 30% of Africa’s malaria related deaths are in countries experiencing complex emergenciesespecially the most vulnerable group, which are children under five (WHO, 2010).
This essay will critically review literature about Malaria in relation to disaster either natural disaster or man made disaster to describe the effects of disaster on Malaria situation, what is the strategies of Malaria control in disaster situation and also look at some examples and lessons learned from previous disasters.