A local medical staff member trained by a Chinese team distributes anti-malarial drugs to local villagers in Nzaoudze Village, Grande Comore, the largest island in the Comoros nation. [Photo: Zhang Youqiong]
Malaria, together with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, are three major global public health threats that cause substantial human suffering and also impact negatively on economies and societies in which they are prevalent.
According to WHO’s World Malaria Report 2018, there were an estimated 219 million malaria cases and 435,000 related deaths in 2017, with the WHO African Region accounting for 93% of all malaria deaths that year.
The population of the Union of Comoros, the Islands of the Moon, had suffered from malaria for years. Local people didn’t name their children until they were five, because so many died of malaria before that.
Since 2006, over 200 researchers from Guangdong have visited Comoros to promote artemisinin combination therapy. In 2014, there were no malaria related deaths on all three islands of Comoros, morbidity was reduced by 98%, and no primary cases were reported on both Mohéli and Anjouan. The people of Comoros affectionately call the researchers ‘The Exorcists’.
Script: Huang Jinhui, Wang Cong, Wu Ke, Wang Yifan
Photo: Zhang Youqiong
Editors: Simon Haywood, Monica Liu
Planning: Yao Yanyong, Wang Xiyong, Lin Yaming, Qin Wengang, Cao Si, Wing Zhang