External threat

Published: Thursday 31 October 2002

Three decades of effective eradication programmes have rid the United Arab Emirates (uae) of the scourge of malaria -- the country has had no indigenous cases since 1997. Yet the disease keeps rearing its head as it is 'imported' by immigrants from Asian and African countries. According to Abdelaziz Mohammed Abdalla, head of the malaria control section at the department of preventive medicine, "Last year there were only 35 cases of malaria. But in each of these, the disease was contracted abroad." Two types of malaria are prevalent in uae: plasmodium falciparum and plasmodium vivax. "While falciparum comes from India, Sudan and Yemen, vivax is transmitted through Pakistan," reveals Abdalla. "The main cause of imported malaria in areas which are not endemic is the increasing human migration," he adds.

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