Today is World Malaria Day! So, at Broad Street Maps, we wanted to take a moment to share a little bit about the disease that continues to infect and kill far too many people around the world — especially in the places where many of our partners work. As data people, we know that a lot of the enormous numbers that are thrown out to talk about global disease burden are hard to truly understand. What does 300-500 million clinical cases of malaria a year mean? Over 650,000 deaths? $12 billion in yearly economic losses to Africa?
While no statistics can ever truly make human loss feel real, below are three infographics that we think harness visuals to present a pretty good lay of the land. They're a good place to start if you're looking to learn a little bit about what malaria actually is, its reach, and how you can treat it. (If you've got some extra free time, we recommend checking out the last one. Made by a new, local Seattle data viz crush, the incredibly comprehensive infographic came out of a University of Washington research project.)
But beyond the numbers, here are three facts we think matter most: Malaria is preventable. Malaria is treatable. And there are incredible people working everyday — in vaccine trials and in their local communities — to make the disease a thing of the past.
To learn more about a few of these impressive people and efforts check out The Gates Foundation's blog, "Impatient Optimists" and their organization-wide strategic plan. And for some interesting insights and lessons learned from the fight, take a look at the article published today in The Guardian by the Malaria Consortium.