Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease that is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The parasites are transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitos, which are also known as “malaria vectors.” Malaria is caused by five parasite species, two of which, P. falciparum and P. vivax, pose the most serious risk. Malaria affects millions of people every day, has existed for millennia, and has been difficult to eradicate. Every year on April 25, World Malaria Dayis observed to highlight the importance of ongoing investment and political commitment to malaria prevention and control.
World Malaria Day 2023 -Theme
This year, on World Malaria Day 2023, the theme is “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement.”
Invest – According to WHO’s World Malaria Report 2022, the disparity in funding between the amount invested in the global malaria response (US$ 3.5 billion) and the resources required (US$ 7.3 billion) has widened in recent years, rising from a shortfall of US$ 2.6 billion in 2019 to US$ 3.5 billion in 2020 and US$ 3.8 billion in 2021.
Innovate – Despite recent failures in malaria control, R&D efforts have been critical in reducing the worldwide burden of malaria over the last two decades. Since 2000, rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), and artemisinin-based combination treatments (ACTs) have been the foundation of the malaria response. Continued investment in developing and deploying next-generation instruments will be essential for meeting the global malaria targets set for 2030.
Implement – Malaria-affected countries and partners are strongly encouraged to provide the WHO-recommended resources and approaches that are now accessible to all people at risk of malaria, especially the most vulnerable.
Importance Of World Malaria Day
In 87 nations and territories, nearly half of the world’s population lives in malaria-risk zones. Malaria caused 241 million clinical episodes and 627,000 fatalities in 2020. In 2020, the WHO African Region was projected to account for 95% of all deaths. To reduce the number of cases, raising knowledge of the disease and its prevention is a primary concern, as is educating the public about early signs, precautions, and treatment choices. Early detection and treatment of malaria have been shown in studies to reduce mortality rates through improving awareness of malaria symptoms and prevention.
History Of World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day, established in 2008, evolved from Africa Malaria Day, which has been observed by African countries since 2001, and the anniversary provided an opportunity to assess the state of malaria prevention and mortality objectives in African countries. At the 60th session of the World Health Assembly (a gathering hosted by the World Health Organisation), it was suggested in 2007 that Africa Malaria Day be renamed World Malaria Day to bring attention to the global malaria prevalence and raise awareness of the worldwide drive to eradicate the disease.
World Malaria Day Timeline
1500 – Malaria was introduced to the Americas by Spanish invaders.
1600 – Colonisers and missionaries utilized Cinchona tree bark to treat malaria in the 1600s.
1821 – French researchers developed quinine from cinchona bark and discovered it beneficial against malarial fevers.
1902 – Ronald Ross, a British doctor, demonstrated malaria was transmitted by mosquitos in 1902. He received the Nobel Prize.
1940 – 1970 – Malaria was essentially eradicated in the West due to DDT, and elimination followed in many countries worldwide.
2017 – World Malaria Day was established in May 2017 to promote malaria education and awareness on a global scale.
Symptoms Of Malaria
Malaria’s most common early symptoms include fever, headache, and chills. Symptoms often manifest within 10-15 days after being bitten by an infected insect. Malaria causes serious disease and death in some cases. The following are examples of severe symptoms:
- extreme tiredness and exhaustion
- consciousness impairment
- Breathing difficulties
- black or red urine
- jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
- Bleeding is unusual.
Malaria Prevention Tips
- Put on protective clothing with long sleeves.
- Apply insect repellent to any exposed skin by spraying.
- If your bedroom doesn’t have air conditioning or a screen, use a mosquito net over the bed.
- You can spray insect repellents on your clothing and exposed skin when you go outside. Thin clothing is easy for mosquitoes to bite through.
- Keep your house and surroundings clutter- and waste-free.
- Watch out for symptoms like fever with a high temperature regarding disease control. Consult a doctor as soon as you notice any potential malaria symptoms.
In conclusion, World Malaria Day is a major occasion that highlights the terrible effects of the illness and the pressing need to eradicate it. Despite recent advancements, malaria still seriously threatens public health, especially in low-income nations. Hence, this World Malaria Day 2023, it is especially important to stress the value of ongoing funding for research, prevention, and treatment initiatives to lower the worldwide malaria burden. Through persistent efforts and concerted action, we can fight to eradicate malaria and guarantee that everyone has access to the resources needed for malaria prevention and treatment.
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