GREENWICH has the second-highest malaria rate in south east London, research reveals.

Experts are calling for people to be more aware when travelling to affected countries as data has shown 4,311 confirmed cases between 2000 and 2011 in the SE area.

Where the residence of the patients was known, Southwark had the highest number of cases (1,035), followed by Greenwich (696) Lambeth (599), Lewisham (226), Bexley (189), and Bromley (83).

During this period, 93 per cent of all imported malaria cases were acquired in Africa.

Government agency Public Health England (PHE) and charity African Diaspora for Action Against Malaria (ADAAM) have teamed up to promote awareness of the illness.

London’s local director of health protection for south east London at PHE Dr Rachel Heathcock said: "Malaria is a preventable disease, so it’s concerning that we continue to see high numbers of cases in people from south east London who have travelled abroad.

"It is particularly worrying eight out of 10 people who contracted malaria reported not taking anti-malarials during their travels to countries where the disease is endemic.

She added: "Avoiding mosquito bites when abroad is also crucial and measures such as covering up between dusk and dawn, using insect repellants and bednets can all help."

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