•Malaria kills 60, 000 a year in Tanzania
•80% of those deaths are children under five years
•Tanzania aims to halve malaria deaths by 2015
Lifelines: The End Game profiles the extraordinary work of African health heroes as they tackle malaria in Tanzania. The third documentary in a groundbreaking eight-part series, Lifelines: The End Game premieres on Al Jazeera English on 24 April 2014, the day before World Malaria Day.
Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted to humans through the bite of a mosquito. Although the disease has been eliminated in Europe and North America, it still plagues parts of South East Asia and Africa, where 90% of malaria deaths occur, costing the continent $12bn a year.
Lifelines: The End Is In Sight focuses on the fight against malaria in Tanzania, where the disease is responsible for 60,000 deaths a year, with 80% of those being children under five years of age.
Tanzania aims to halve malaria deaths by 2015 and research scientist Fredros Okumu believes he may see the disease eliminated in his lifetime. “I am fortunate that I’m still young enough,” he says. “God-willing, I want to be there when malaria is eliminated.”
Fredros lost his sister to malaria and started researching malaria at 19. With master’s degrees from the University of Nairobi and Lund University in Sweden, and with a PhD from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Fredros now works at the Ifacara Health Institute, Africa’s centre of research into malaria.
Here, in the race between science and a rapidly evolving mosquito, people voluntarily allow themselves to be bitten by mosquitos so Fredros and others can explore malaria prevention, control and vaccines.
Video: Lifelines Health Heroes – Malaria promo
Friday is World Malaria Day.