(Greece) -A total of twelve districts in Greece have banned blood donations over malaria concerns. According to the Hellenic Center for Disease Control, there have been 65 confirmed cases of malaria in Greece, 61 of them have originated outside of Greece on the Indian continent and in Africa. Four of these cases are thought to have originated from within Greece. They Greek authorities have decided to halt blood donations in the affected districts in order to prevent the disease from spreading any further. Impacted districts stretch across the mainland of Greece in places from the Peloponnese to Thessaloniki.
About four decades ago, malaria had been wiped out in Greece. However, there has been a recent surge in cases over the last few years and many people blame budget cuts on the recent cases. Municipal programs that have been designed to prevent malaria have experienced cut backs due to the recession and austerity measures. However, it isn’t clear whether or not this really played a part in the surge of cases of malaria in Greece. What is known is that Greek authorities are taking a cautionary approach and banning the Greek people from giving blood as a donation across the districts that have been impacted.
Malaria is a disease that is caused be a parasite and is spread through mosquitos. Several decades ago, Greece had a history of malaria, but thanks to the efforts by the government and the diligence of the people, it was nearly eradicated. The disease has started to make a comeback over the past several years. Both the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Blood Donation have both issued warnings about the current outbreak. Most of the cases of malaria involved foreign countries but the government wants to take a cautionary approach to prevent it from spreading.