April is fully loaded with ” World Day Celebrations” on one pretext or other. 🙂 We have just celebrated World Earth Day on 22nd April, World Book Day on 23rd April, and today, on 25th April is World Malaria Day (WMD). This is commemorated every year to recognize the global efforts to control malaria. Globally, 106 countries are at risk which affects more than 3 billion people. Africa, Latin America, Asia, and to some extent middle east and parts of Europe are affected by the malaria menace.
When I was a young child, if fever turned out to be malaria, the toughest part was to swallow Quinine which was the only medication to treat malaria. Over the years, it came coated with some sweet and that made it easy to swallow.
Malaria has proven to be a deadly disease. As per the reports, the global tally of deaths by malaria has crossed 5 lakhs per annum. Since the campaigning started by WHO, a fall of 29% in deaths was seen. Also, new malaria cases have fallen by 21%. Africa is the worst hit continent.
The theme this year on WMD is – Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives. WHO is calling to bring new vector control approaches through investments and innovations in diagnostics, anti-malarial drugs, and any other tool which may speed up the pace of progress against malaria.
It is a preventable and treatable disease but continues to play havoc. The sad part is that the children under the age of 5 years are the worst hit.
WMD was done to create a global awareness to recognize the existence of malaria across the globe and fight the menace. For those who don’t know, it is transmitted by the bite of those female Anopheles mosquitoes which are infected by the plasmodium parasite. When it bites a human, a parasite is released into the bloodstream, resulting in malaria.
In India, nine Anopheline vectors are involved in transmitting malaria. India contributes 77% of total malaria in Southeast Asia. Multi-organ involvement/dysfunction is also reported. Most of the malaria burden is borne by economically productive ages. The profound impact of complicated malaria in pregnancy includes anemia, abortions, low birth weight in neonates, still births, and maternal mortality.
India has a number of well-structured National Disease Control/Elimination Programs that are implemented by the state governments following national policies. We have three tiers of government-funded health care systems throughout India. An organized National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP) provides technical and operational guidelines to state governments.
Reference – National Library Of Medicine
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