Malaria prevalence in eastern Burma (Conflict and Health, Sep. 2007)

There exists an acute imperative to improve infectious disease surveillance in the border regions of Burma. The combination of multi-drug resistant plasmodium falciparum, ubiquitous fake antimalarials, and under funding of malaria control results in the second highest number of malaria deaths in southeast Asia. Official statistics are likely to grossly underestimate the number of malaria cases and deaths, especially in remote areas where ongoing civil conflict likely increases malaria risk. This population-based survey analysis demonstrates that the prevalence of plasmodium falciparum in conflict areas of eastern Burma is higher than rates reported among populations in neighboring Thailand, particularly among children. This population serves as a large reservoir of infection that contributes to a high disease burden within Burma and likely constitutes a source of infection for neighboring regions.