Severe Malaria in African Children – The Need for Continuing Investment

by Kathryn Maitland
N Engl J Med 2016; 375:2416-2417, December 22, 2016

2 pp. 65 kB

Approximately 90% of the world’s falciparum infections and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the latter almost entirely in children younger than 5 years of age. Few of these children will ever be cared for in intensive care or high-dependency units, so most will rely instead on simple supportive treatments and parenteral antimalarial agents to avert death. Even with the rapid administration of the best available antimalarial drugs, at least 1 in 10 children admitted to hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa with severe and complicated malaria dies. There is an urgent need to catalyze and accelerate the severe-malaria research agenda, including the conduct of trials designed to be more efficient by addressing multiple questions more rapidly, to ultimately improve the outcomes of severe malaria infections among African children.

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