Rob Wilson, Ph.D.
Final Abstract for URS Program
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that has plagued society for thousands of years. Malaria is often overlooked from the perspective of wealthier industrialized countries due to prevention efforts largely eliminating malaria from these locations. However, overlooking malaria’s continued global relevance is misinformed to the fact that nearly half the global population lives in regions at risk of malarial transmission. According to the CDC and WHO, such a high number of people at risk has subsequently led to an estimated 241 million cases and over 627 thousand deaths in 2020 alone. The purpose for the present research is to examine the continued prominence of malaria and highlight an often-ignored contributory factor to malaria’s perpetuated existence: the production of counterfeit antimalarial medications and treatments. This issue is a main contributor to the continued existence of malaria, a largely preventable disease. Manufacturer greed is at the heart of this industry and is further exacerbated by inadequate international regulations. A plethora of issues are the byproduct of this industry. Namely, perpetuated poverty levels, increased child morbidity and mortality rates, and the development of treatment-resistant strains of malaria. In order to prevent global ramifications from occurring, countries must see this industry as problematic to the world as a whole and not just to malaria endemic regions.