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Combatting Malaria in the Comoros Islands: How China Almost Got it Right

China’s ground-breaking anti-malarial intervention in the Comoros, where malaria is the number one cause of death across all populations, has resulted in the East African island nation being named by the World Health Organisation as “one of six African countries on course to eliminate malaria by 2020”. Unlike in the more densely inhabited Grand Comore and Anjouan islands with a moderate transmission rate of 10–35%, malaria had a prevalence rate of 90% in Moheli. According to a Moheli resident: “The disease situation was so severe that residents of other islands were afraid to travel here.”

The small population size, and the geographic and climatic variability across the islands, which contributes to the difference in the malaria endemicity and transmission patterns across the country, makes the Comoros a great location for pilot implementation of novel antimalarial projects.

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