World Malaria Day 2020: Current Theme, History and Significance
World Malaria Day 2020: As we know that the whole world is fighting with pandemic COVID-19 but WHO addressed that there is an urgent need to tackle the coronavirus aggressively while ensuring that other killer diseases including malaria are not neglected. Further, WHO urges countries to ensure the continuity of malaria service in the context of the pandemic, provided that best practices to protect health workers and communities are followed.
World Malaria Day raise awareness about the need for the prevention, control and elimination of malaria. This day also marks the continuing great achievements in the fight against malaria. It is also necessary to provide education to the people for better understanding regarding disease malaria and how to cure it. Let us tell you that Malaria is a life-threatening disease which is caused by Plasmodium Parasites.
World Malaria Day 2020: Theme
The theme of World Malaria Day 2020 is "Zero malaria starts with me."
To End Malaria WHO joins the RBM Partnership in promoting "Zero malaria starts with me". It is a grassroot campaign with an objective to keep malaria high on political agenda, mobilize additional resources and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.
According to WHO, between 2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40% worldwide, from an estimated 743 000 to 446 000. WHO's World Malaria Report 2019 says that there were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period 2014-2018. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2018 as the year before.
World Malaria Day: History
World Malaria Day was developed from Africa Malaria Day which was first held in 2008. It is basically an event that had been observed since 2001 by African governments. They worked towards the progress goal which aimed at controlling malaria and reduces its mortality in African countries.
At the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, a meeting sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2007 proposed that Africa Malaria Day be changed to World Malaria Day to identify the existence of malaria in the countries worldwide and to bring awareness among people globally to fight against malaria disease.
World Malaria Day also enables new donors to join in a global partnership against malaria, and for research and academic institutions to reveal scientific advances to the public.
The day also gives international partners, companies and foundations a chance to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked.
Facts about Malaria
- Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. The parasite can be spread to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes called ‘malaria vectors’. When mosquito bites parasite is released into the bloodstream.
- There are different types of plasmodium parasite, but do you know that only five types of plasmodium cause malaria in humans. They are Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, P. ovale and Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium knowlesi.
- Plasmodium falciparum is responsible for the majority of malaria deaths globally and is the most prevalent species in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Plasmodium vivax is the second most significant species and is prevalent in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
- Together P. vivax and Plasmodium ovale causes complication of a dormant liver stage and can be cured.
- Malaria is an acute febrile illness. Its symptoms usually appear in 10-15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. At the starting stage, its symptoms are fever, headache and chilling effect.
- The main way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission is vector control that is to use insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying.
- Apply insect repellents like cream, lotion, spray etc. and avoid the bites of mosquito. Also, for this wear protective clothes that cover arms and legs.
- Malaria is preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places.
Note: World Malaria Day is observed every year on 25 April to spread awareness among people globally to fight against malaria. Strange but true that one child dies from malaria every 2 minutes.