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By: United to Beat Malaria

Malaria on the Frontlines: Ecuador’s Fight to End Malaria

July 16, 2020
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Malaria can be an abstract concept for those who don’t face the threat of this disease every day or work with communities who do. Do you ever wonder what it looks like to live on the frontlines of malaria?

Earlier this year, Nothing But Nets took a trip to Ecuador with our good friends at Cotopaxi to meet with communities impacted by malaria and learn from those who have devoted their lives to ending it for good.

Ecuador, a historically malaria-endemic country in the Amazon, represents a regional success story: efforts against malaria led to a reduction of reported cases from 800,000 in 2000 to just 241 in 2014. Deaths from malaria also dropped to zero. However, malaria cases have increased to 1,843 in 2019, a testament to just how difficult it can be to eliminate this disease for good.

In the case of Ecuador, malaria is concentrated in hard-to-reach tropical areas of the coast and the Amazon jungle, with indigenous people, mobile workers, and migrants living at high risk. It took our team roughly 10 hours by plane, car, and boat to reach the malaria-endemic areas of the Morona-Santiago region.

Strengthening health systems in these last-mile communities is vital in order to provide lifesaving tools and treatment for malaria. Fortunately, there are several healthcare heroes in Ecuador committed to turning the tide against malaria. Click here to hear their stories and learn how your support has contributed to life-saving progress.

Throughout the month of July, we are highlighting stories from Ecuador. Follow our journey into these remote communities in the Amazon all this month and click here to receive stories directly in your inbox.  

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