Malaria is a disease of poverty; it is a disease of the developing, underdeveloped and developing worlds. Although cases of the disease are sometimes noted in the US and EU, these are mostly transferred from tropical countries.
The reason is tragic: although people in the poorer countries know as much as anyone else about malaria, and of how it could be prevented, they do not have the wherewithal to prevent malaria due to lack of money and healthy living facilities. Malaria is a disease of the swamps; of mosquito bites, of sleeping in the open air and working in marshy fields. These things, swamps, dirty water, sleeping outside and mosquitos are the lot of poor people in undeveloped countries. They do not have the money to clean swamps, carry on expensive pest control measures or build a proper, pest free house to live in. They have to work in fields, in swampy conditions, and by a quirk of nature, most of the poorer people of the world happen to live in the tropics, where heavy rainfall, humid and hot weather and swamps abound, all breeding grounds of mosquitos. This is the basic reason why malaria is such a prevalent cause of death in poor countries, especially in sub-saharan Africa where treatment and prevention facilities are next to nil.
Over 250 million people suffer from malaria every year, of which about one in twenty five die. Of these large numbers, almost 80 to 90 percent are from sub-saharan Africa alone. The rest of the deaths are evenly distributed among countries of central America and Asia. Malaria is also a disease of rural areas; studies have shown that the majority of cases of malaria occur in villages – where, of course, there are more malaria carrier mosquitos.
Malaria is both a preventable and a curable disease; quinine, an extract of the cinchona plant, is a complete cure for malaria. It is tragic that poverty lets people neither prevent this disease, nor cure it with the life saving but expensive quinine.