Dr. Byarugaba Baterama Senior Consultant Physician Uganda
"Malaria does not need only medical solutions, it is a socio-economic problem. People don't have enough money to buy the proper drugs or have access to proper medical facilities and medication in a timely fashion. But the questions asked to find a significant solution need to be bigger. For example, artemether-lumefantrine is the recommended first line anti-malarial. But one needs a fatty diet at the time of administration to successfully digest the medication. The vast majority of individuals taking this medication have no money, nutrition is a real issue. They have very little to eat. They can't afford even a bit of milk; never mind animal fat. As a consequence, the drug, when taken, runs the risk of improper absorption, which amounts to an improper dosage. They just spent what little money they had and are still sick."
The socio-economic issues surrounding prevention and treatment of malaria are of central importance. Many of the factors that enhance the impact and spread of malaria are the result of poverty, which itself is exacerbated by the disease.
Controlling malaria is not just an issue of physical intervention. Reduction and eventual eradication will be the result of advances that take into account the economic and social complexities responsible for the propagation of the disease.