The World Malaria Report 2005, issued this week by the World Health Organization (WHO), registers an increase in the number of cases in Brazil, and says that the lack of human and other resources, technical weaknesses at local level, and little information limited the coverage of effective interventions in controlling the disease.
In the most comprehensive study published about the status of the disease in the world, the WHO warns for the increase of cases in Brazil, which went from 349,873 in 2002, to 379,551 in 2003, almost 20 thousand more. According to the report, Brazil was responsible in 2002 for approximately 40% of the total number of malaria cases in the Americas.
The Ministry of Health’s Secretariat of Health Surveillance (SVS) issued a note this Thursday, May 5, refuting WHO’s critical observations.
“The WHO says something it doesn’t really know about. There is no discontinuity on program or resources. The WHO probably doesn’t understand Brazilian reality,” says the text.
Malaria transmission in Brazil is concentrated in nine states of the Legal Amazon Region (Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins), where 99.7% of cases occur.
Last year, 462,596 cases of the disease were registered. This year, the Secretariat reports 124,284 cases.
According to the WHO, malaria is responsible for one million of deaths per year in the world, 80% in Africa. The United Nations Organization (UN) established a goal of reducing by half the number of malaria-related deaths until 2010.