Researchers call for eliminating malaria in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Apr 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.

Explore further: Liberia's airport battles to contain Ebola

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Malaria top killer in Congo

Apr 30, 2008

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo say malaria is the primary cause of illness and death, despite prevention efforts.

Recommended for you

Liberia's airport battles to contain Ebola

12 minutes ago

With the last rays of sunlight speckling the departures area at Liberia's international airport, passengers queue patiently to go through medical screening designed to show up the Ebola virus.

Ebola in mind, US colleges screen some students

Aug 29, 2014

University students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate their campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in ...

User comments : 0