Huguette Gaelle Ngassa Mbenda
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 39 Issue 4 September 2014 pp 727-738 Review
Does malaria epidemiology project Cameroon as `Africa in miniature'?
Huguette Gaelle Ngassa Mbenda Gauri Awasthi Poonam K Singh Inocent Gouado Aparup Das
Cameroon, a west-central African country with a ∼20 million population, is commonly regarded as ‘Africa in miniature’ due to the extensive biological and cultural diversities of whole Africa being present in a single-country setting. This country is inhabited by ancestral human lineages in unique eco-climatic conditions and diverse topography. Over 90% Cameroonians are at risk of malaria infection, and ∼41% have at least one episode of malaria each year. Historically, the rate of malaria infection in Cameroon has fluctuated over the years; the number of cases was about 2 million in 2010 and 2011. The Cameroonian malaria control programme faces an uphill task due to high prevalence of multidrug-resistant parasites and insecticide-resistant malaria vectors. Above all, continued human migration from the rural to urban areas as well as population exchange with adjoining countries, high rate of ecological instabilities caused by deforestation, poor housing, lack of proper sanitation and drainage system might have resulted in the recent increase in incidences of malaria and other vector-borne diseases in Cameroon. The available data on eco-environmental variability and intricate malaria epidemiology in Cameroon reflect the situation in the whole of Africa, and warrant the need for in-depth study by using modern surveillance tools for meaningful basic understanding of the malaria triangle (host-parasite-vector-environment).
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