From Agence France Presse
24 million hit by malaria in Bangladesh: WHO
BYLINE: Business Day (South Africa) - by Richard Tren
DATELINE: September 09, 1999 08:48 GMT - Dhaka
Agence France Presse
An estimated 24 million people in Bangladesh are affected by malaria and
defences against the mosquito-borne disease need to be strengthened, a World
Health Organisation (WHO) report said here Thursday.
The WHO report said after nearly eradicating the disease in Bangladesh in the
1980s, it had taken a foothold again here during the last decade.
WHO officials are meeting in Dhaka for a six-day Asia health conference.
The body's report said the majority of the cases were reported from 13 out of
Bangladesh's 64 districts, but the worst affected areas were hilly and forest
districts sharing borders with India and Myanmar.
"The northeast border with India is considered at highest risk," the WHO
conference paper said.
It added that the country's "capacity to predict, detect and alert a rapid
response to malaria epidemics needs to be strengthened."
The report said Bangladesh, which has a population of 120 million, "faces many
challenges with the need of strengthening the control system against the
The WHO launched its "Roll Back Malaria" programme about a year ago in its bid
to significantly reduce the morbidity and mortality rates caused by the
The UN agency also identified malaria as "the single most important cause of
poverty" in some countries of the world, with southeastern Bangladesh hill
tracts among them.
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