Researchers call for eliminating malaria in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

April 28, 2010

In an editorial in the May 2010 issue of the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Tulane University malaria researchers urge action to eliminate malaria from Hispaniola, the last island in the Caribbean where the disease occurs regularly.

On Hispaniola, home to the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, malaria is caused by a single mosquito-borne parasite, .

The authors say success in eliminating malaria from Hispaniola would demonstrate that it is possible to defeat malaria in other regions of the world where it remains a dire threat. There is also evidence in Haiti that the parasite is becoming resistant to , an inexpensive treatment for the disease. Eliminating malaria now would save these impoverished nations from having to resort to more expensive drug therapies.

The authors advise that Haiti and the Dominican Republic should advance from basic mosquito control to more intensive methods. "Key to the successful elimination of malaria on the island will be the strategic use of combinations of methods," say the authors. "Malaria elimination will require that every suspected case on the island be diagnosed and treated."

The authors recommend developing a system for quickly locating and diagnosing new cases; using control methods including insecticide-treated nets and spraying to prevent the spread of malaria; and educating the community to seek treatment for all fevers and support the elimination effort.

Success will require the "unwavering political will" of both governments on the island, and will "set a precedent for health diplomacy," say the authors.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

In first, scientists forecast West Nile Virus outbreaks

February 24, 2017

Scientists at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health are the first to report a method to accurately predict the timing and intensity of West Nile Virus (WNV) outbreaks. The study is published in the journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.