Malaria is caused by a parasite (Plasmosdium falciparum is the most frequent and most dangerous species) transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person by a vector, the mosquito. The most common manifestation is fever, but in the absence of treatment, malaria can rapidly lead to death, particularly from neurological problems (coma). Young children and pregnant women are particularly affected by the severe forms and death.
In 2013, an estimated 200 million cases of malaria caused 600,000 deaths, with 90% of cases occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa and 78% affecting young children. In numerous regions of the world, the parasite is becoming resistant to many antimalarial medications.
The primary measures in the fight against malaria are environmental actions to clean damp and swampy areas, use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and spraying insecticide inside homes to fight mosquitos, as well as preventative treatments for young children and pregnant women. Using rapid tests allows the diagnosis to be confirmed and, for negative tests, avoids needless treatment, which now often involves the combination of several medications for maximum effectiveness against resistant parasites. These measures, taken together, resulted in a 50% reduction in mortality since 2000.