World Malaria Day 2019: History, Theme and Significance
Malaria is a life-threatening disease which is caused by Plasmodium Parasites. The WHO has called for accelerated scale-up of efforts to prevent malaria and save lives.
World Malaria Day 2019: Theme
The theme of World Malaria Day 2019 is "Zero malaria starts with me."
According to WHO this theme underscores the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria. It will empower individuals across the world to make a personal commitment to saving millions more lives and help communities and economies to thrive by ending malaria. It will re-energise the fight to eliminate the disease, which still threatens half of the global population and kills one child every two minutes.
Several awareness campaigns and events are organised to celebrate this day and WHO will share several interviews with leaders and advocates who have been involved in malaria control. These leaders will share their views and efforts of the past 71 years fighting with malaria.
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.
According to WHO's latest report on World Malaria, no significant reduction was made in malaria cases in between 2015 and 2017 year. That is the deaths occured due to malaria remained virtually unchanged over the previous yearwhich stood at 435000.
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 causes 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 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 died from malaria every 2 minutes.