Though the news is exploding with information about the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, there are some diseases that have been wiping people out in more astonishing rates for years — such as AIDS and malaria — which don't receive as much press.
HIV/AIDS is so rampant in Sub-Saharan Africa that it kills around 1.2 million people every year. That number is strikingly larger than the number of victims from the current Ebola outbreak, which has infected over 1,300 people and claimed over 700 lives. Fortunately, the HIV/AIDS rate in Africa is decreasing. In 2012, UNAIDS released a report that found a 25 percent decrease in new HIV infections between 2001 and 2011 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Then there’s malaria, which kills over 600,000 people every year. According to the World Health Organization, about half of the world’s population are at risk of malaria. In 2012, there were 207 million cases of malaria and about 627,000 deaths, although there could be more unreported cases. “People living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to malaria,” the WHO writes on its website. “In 2012, 90% of all malaria deaths occurred in the WHO African Region, mostly among young children under 5 years of age.” Malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Every minute, a child dies from malaria.
The video below outlines the importance of boosting research for all of these diseases in order to battle the high rates of infections. According to SciShow News: “The more attention that all of these public health crises get, the better. So maybe the best outcome of this current scare may not be the better treatment of Ebola, but also more money, science, and brainpower being devoted to conquering even bigger threats in West Africa and other parts of the world.”