by a period of no change in the 1990s and then a return to progress in the 2000s. The earlier decrease was due largely to success with vaccination programs, he said, while the lack of improvement in the 1990s can be attributed to increases in malaria mortality and to stagnation in vaccination efforts. Renewed efforts to combat malaria (new treatments, rapid diagnostic tests, and impregnated bed nets) and progress in vaccine coverage were largely responsible for the resumption of the decline in mortality during the past decade. The presenters acknowledged that improvements in socioeconomic conditions might also have had an influence, but the results of that influence would be visible only over the long term and would not explain relatively rapid changes such as the mortality decline in the 2000s. A key takeaway point of the session was that vaccinations and efforts to combat malaria have “non-specific” effects, meaning that in addition to lowering mortality due to the specific disease being addressed, they also tend to lower mortality due to other causes.



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