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WHO Disputes Study’s Claims That Global Malaria Deaths Are Double Current Estimates

The WHO has disputed a study published last week in the Lancet “that claims nearly twice as many people are dying of malaria than current estimates,” VOA News reports. The WHO “says both its estimates of malaria deaths and those of the Lancet study are statistically the same for all groups in all regions,” with one exception, VOA writes, noting, “WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says there’s a notable statistical difference in regard to children over five and adults in Africa.”

According to VOA, “He says the two groups used different methodologies and different sources of data in arriving at their conclusions,” and “says it is important to look more carefully at the sources and the quality of data before arriving at conclusions.” Hartl “says the emphasis of malaria work in the future will aim to improve diagnostic testing, surveillance and vital statistic registration,” the news service writes, adding, “Despite these disputed claims, Hart says both the WHO and Lancet study agree that global death rates from malaria are falling due to better treatment, prevention and control measures” (Schlein, 2/3).