An exhibition at the Adler Museum of Medicine, Medical School, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg will be opened on 26 July 2011 by Yvonne Chaka Chaka: President, Princess of Africa Foundation; UNICEF and Roll Back Malaria Goodwill Ambassador, United National Development Programme – Millenium Development Goals (MDG), Envoy for Africa United Against Malaria (UAM) Champion. The opening will take place at Wits Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown at 17:00 for 17:30.
150 years ago most countries had endemic malaria somewhere within their borders. Over the years malaria has killed tens of millions of people and infected hundreds of millions more.
In the first part of the 20th century 178 countries had endemic malaria. Britain eliminated it in 1952, Australia in 1970. Morocco is the latest country to rid itself of the disease in 2007. Of the present 99 malaria-endemic countries, 32 have entered an elimination phase and 67 are working to reduce their high burden of mortality and morbidity from this disease using established control measures.
In 2008, 863 000 people died of malaria, 89% of them in Africa and 88% of those children under five. 243 million more were infected with malaria.
There is however positive news. The WHO’s World Malaria Report for 2010 shows that malaria cases or hospital admissions and deaths have been cut by half in eleven African countries over the past decade.
Malaria has a very high economic cost for Africa and can decrease gross domestic product by as much as 1.3% in countries with high levels of transmission. Sick children miss school. Tourism suffers and foreign investment stalls. Work productivity and household incomes decline. Over the long term the aggregated annual losses have resulted in substantial differences in GDP between countries with and without malaria.
The exhibition, Malaria in context, covers the history, causes, geographical range, diagnosis, treatment, control and effect of malaria, particularly in Africa.
It has been prepared by staff of the Faculty of Health Sciences and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (of the NHLS) and sponsored by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, South Africa.
The exhibition will be open to the public from 10.00 to 16.00 on weekdays. Worksheets are available and special tours of the exhibition for schools can be arranged. Please contact the museum at email@example.com or telephone 011 717 2067.