Marked annually on 25th of April, world malaria day has its focus on global attention on malaria and its impact on human societies across the world. Malaria is preventable and can be cured, although it is life-threatening if not provided with proper treatment on time. It is caused by plasmodium parasites after getting transmitted in to humans via the bites of Anopheles female mosquitoes which are infected. The common symptoms include fever, headache and chills and are seen within 10-15 days after getting bitten. Highest risk is seen in children below age 5, pregnant women, HIV infected people and those living under unhygienic conditions. With rapid development in treatment of malaria, the global Malaria diagnostics market is set grow significantly.
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WHO has called to scale up innovative and developmental tools in fight against malaria with equal access to prevention and treatment of the disease. Past year we witnessed a breakthrough in prevention and control of malaria through combined efforts of health organizations and people. The world’s first vaccine against malaria, the RTS,S was released by WHO in late 2021 and will be given to children aged 6 months to 5 years.
However, the availability of this vaccine is currently limited, hence, undertaking other preventive measure is also equally important. In 2021, about 228 million cases of malaria were recorded out of which 95% occurred in the various regions of the African continent, along with more than 600,000 deaths. 6 countries reported for 55% of total cases and 50% deaths, globally.
WHO’s primary goal is to reduce the number of deaths caused by malaria in poor countries, the organization has made significant efforts in implementation of campaigns like seasonal malaria chemoprevention or SMC under which protection was provided to 11.8 million children along with distribution of indoor spraying of drugs and insecticidal nets. RTS,S vaccine was widely given to 900,000 children in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.
In the past two years, 12 countries have been certified by WHO as being malaria free. The countries are: Sri Lanka, UAE, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Morocco, China, Algeria, Armenia, Argentina, Uzbekistan, El Salvador and Paraguay,
Malaria deaths gravely affect households as well as communities, which are needed to become empowered so they can play a key role in the ensuring fight against malaria. World Malaria Day is an occasion to renew global commitments and encouragement for continued funding for malaria prevention and control.