Malaria

Malaria


Migrants are at high risk of malaria infection due to travel from non-endemic to endemic areas, increased health stressors, low access to health services, poverty, poor living and working conditions and lack of awareness about health issues and using preventative measures. In 2013, there were 207 million malaria cases worldwide and 627,000 malaria deaths annually.

There are several ways in which migration is tied to malaria infection:

  • Population mobility from high to low or non-malaria endemic countries can result in imported malaria cases. This has implications for malarial control programmes.
  • Malaria can be re-introduced into low or non-malaria endemic countries through population mobility. This happens when local mosquitoes in low or non-endemic areas become infected by ingesting blood from a person with malaria, (i.e. someone carrying the malaria parasite acquired in endemic areas) and then transmit malaria to local residents.
  • Migrants and mobile populations travelling from low to high transmission areas are also likely to be more vulnerable to malaria as they may not have naturally acquired immunity (NAI) to the disease, and migrants returning to endemic areas may have lost their NAI. They may also develop more severe forms of malaria.
  • Global migration across continents has serious implications for the spread of malaria such as the possible spread of artemisinin resistant plasmodium falciparum strains from Asia to Africa.
  • Mobility may also contribute to poor treatment adherence, which in turn may expedite antimalarial drug resistance.
  • Migrants and mobile populations are often excluded or not considered in malaria control interventions.
  • Migrants and mobile populations are often difficult to reach and may have limited access to malaria control interventions.

Learn more: Population mobility and malaria


Countries


Resources

Health and HIV in fishing communities in East Africa

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Migration human mobility and malaria 2014

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IOM briefing note - Malaria 2015

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Knowledge, attitudes and practices - IOM health education sessions - South Sudan 2011

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