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November 11 , 2007

The Global Challenge of Malaria

Past Lessons and Future Prospects


Malaria is one of the most important “emerging” or “resurgent” infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization, this mosquito-borne infection is a leading cause of suffering, death, poverty, and underdevelopment in the world today. Every year 500 million people become severely ill from malaria and more than a million people die, the great majority of them women and children living in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008, it was estimated, a child would die of the disease every thirty seconds, making malaria — together with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis — a global public health emergency. This is in stark contrast to the heady visions of the 1950s predicting complete global eradication of the ancient scourge. What went wrong?

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This question warrants a closer look at not just the disease itself, but its long history and the multitude of strategies to combat its spread. This book collects the many important milestones in malaria control and treatment in one convenient volume. Importantly, it also traces the history of the disease from the 1920s to the present, and over several continents. It is the first multidisciplinary volume of its kind combining historical and scientific information that addresses the global challenge of malaria control.

Malaria remains as resurgent as ever and The Global Challenge of Malaria: Past Lessons and Future Prospects will examine this challenge — and the range of strategies and tools to confront it — from an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective.

  • Lessons of History:
    • Malaria in America (Margaret Humphreys)
    • Technological Solutions: The Rockefeller Insecticidal Approach to Malaria Control, 1920–1950 (Darwin H Stapleton)
    • Malaria Control and Eradication Projects in Tropical Africa, 1945–1965 (James L A Webb, Jr)
    • The Use and Misuse of History: Lessons from Sardinia (Frank M Snowden)
    • Popular Education and Participation in Malaria Control: A Historical Overview (Socrates Litsios)
  • Scientific, Medical, and Public Health Perspectives:
    • The Contribution of the Gambia to Malaria Research (Brian Greenwood)
    • Insecticide–Treated Bednets and Malaria Control: Strategies, Implementation, and Outcome (Harry V Flaster, Emily Mosites, and Brian G Blackburn)
    • The Scientific and Medical Challenge of Malaria (Tiffany Sun and Richard Bucala)

Readership: Historians of medicine; research scientists; clinicians, especially in the specialties of tropical medicine and infectious diseases; public health officials; environmentalists; and students in public health and history of medicine programs; general readers interested in contemporary issues of global health.
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