Malaria Cases in Myanmar See Huge Drop, Thanks to Efforts by Community Health Workers

Instances of malaria in remote and rural locations in Myanmar have fallen dramatically during a six-year period as a result of trained community health care workers providing a wider package of services along with screenings for the disease transmitted by mosquitoes in tropical regions, a study has found.

When local health care workers began offering more comprehensive services, including screenings and treatments for tuberculosis, respiratory tract infections, malnutrition, and diarrhea, along with malaria, the overall health of villagers improved as did malaria control, according to the study published on Oct. 22 by the online medical journal BMC Medicine.

Villages where health care workers provided malaria diagnosis and treatment saw a 70-percent drop in incidences of Plasmodium falciparum, the deadliest of the five species of malaria parasites that commonly infect humans, which is responsible for roughly half of all cases of the disease, Oxford University-affiliated researchers said in the study.

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