Children under age 5 are disproportionately affected by malaria in Mali

Presumptive malaria diagnostic rates have decreased by 66 percent between 1998-2006 among health care-seeking children under age five years in the twin towns of Mopti and Sévaré in Mali. Up to 37 percent of this decrease is likely due to the distribution of bed net treatment kits initiated in 2001.

In Mali, malaria is the leading cause of death and of outpatient visits for children under five. Nationally, 76 percent of deaths attributed to malaria occur in children under five.

The results corroborate previous findings that suggest that the Fulani ethnicity is protective against malaria. The findings are useful to encourage dialogue around the urban malaria situation in Mali, particularly in the context of achieving the target of reducing malaria morbidity in children younger than five by 50 percent by 2011 as compared to levels in 2000.

1. Rose-Wood A, Doumbia S, Traoré B, Castro MC. Trends in malaria morbidity among health care-seeking children under age five in Mopti and Sévaré, Mali between 1998 and 2006. Malaria Journal 2010; 9: 319. (open access)