NewsDesk @bactiman63

Malaria continues to be a public health problem in Brazil, especially in the North region, where the highest number of cases are concentrated. Caused by protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito of the genus Anopheles, also known as the capuchin mosquito, the disease represents a significant threat to the population. Although there are advances in prevention and treatment, including the recent incorporation of tafenoquine , a drug with the potential to increase the chances of cure, social determinants still play a crucial role in the continued spread of malaria.

Malaria life cycle/CDC

Eliminating malaria in Brazil by 2030 is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Health. Malaria is curable and the treatment is effective, simple and free. However, the disease can progress to its severe forms if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely and adequate manner.

In Brazil, most cases of malaria are concentrated in the Amazon region, comprising the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins. In the other federative units, despite the few notifications, the disease cannot be neglected, as the lethality in this region is higher than in the Amazon region.

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At least 80% of cases in the country are concentrated in 30 municipalities. Considering only Plasmodium falciparum malaria (the species most associated with severe malaria), 16 municipalities account for 80% of cases. Not by chance, the concentration occurs where social determinants are key factors that contribute to the spread of malaria. In areas where socioeconomic conditions are precarious, the risk of infection increases due to the lack of adequate housing, poor sanitation and lack of access to preventive measures, such as mosquito nets impregnated with insecticide and antimalarial drugs.

In 2022, according to preliminary data, 129.1 thousand cases were registered in the country, with a reduction of 8.1% compared to 2021. Despite the drop, the country did not reach the established target of a maximum of 113 thousand notifications for the number of autochthonous cases, reaching a result of almost 127 thousand locally contracted cases. Regarding deaths, Brazil recorded 37 deaths from the disease in 2019, 51 in 2020, 58 in 2021 and 50 deaths in 2022.

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