Back in 2007, China led an ambitious program to eradicate malaria in the Comoros Islands, a small island nation off the coast of Mozambique in southeastern Africa. And, for the most part, they were successful but it wasn’t easy and, not surprisingly, the Chinese medical teams leading the effort encountered a lot of challenges. Experts today are now studying the Chinese program there to see if there are lessons that can be applied to the broader anti-malaria effort on the African mainland.
Malaria continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Africa where the mosquito-borne disease claims at least 400,000 lives a year, mostly children under the age of five. Now, amid the COVID-19 outbreak, public health stakeholders are becoming increasingly concerned that the fight against malaria will suffer given how much of the attention and funding have been shifted to combat the ongoing pandemic.
Esther Ajari, founder and director of The TriHealthon, a Nigeria-based youth-led nonprofit that conducts research and promotes health equity in Africa, detailed some of those take aways from the Chinese malaria effort in the Comoros Islands in a recent article that was published on The China Africa Project. She joins Eric & Cobus from her home in Nigeria’s southern Delta state to discuss her findings and what lessons can be applied from the fight against malaria to COVID-19.
- The China Africa Project: Combatting Malaria in the Comoros Islands: How China Almost Got it Right by Esther Ajari
- The China Africa Project: China’s BIG Gamble in the TINY Comoros Islands by Shannon van Sant
- The Atlantic: China Is Leading the Next Step in Fighting Malaria in Africa by Jacob Kushner
- The New York Times: On island off Africa, China tries to wipe out malaria by David Lague
About Esther Ajari:
Esther Ejiroghene Ajari is the Founder and Director of The TriHealthon, a youth-led nonprofit promoting health equity in Africa through community development as well as theoretical and community-based research. She is also a global public health researcher with several published papers in reputable international peer-reviewed journals. She is also a regular peer-reviewer for the European Journal of Environment and Public Health. Furthermore, she is a Medicine and Surgery student at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. At this institution, she works as the Administrator of the Young Researchers Club. In her spare time, she loves advocating for health development and gender equality through creative pieces.