World Malaria Day
What is World Malaria Day and Why is it Important?
World Malaria Day is an annual observance held on April 25th to raise awareness of the global burden of malaria and to encourage prevention and treatment efforts. It was established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007 and is celebrated in over 100 countries around the world. The theme for World Malaria Day 2023 is “Zero Malaria Starts with Me”, which emphasizes the need for everyone to take action against malaria. This day is important as it serves as a reminder that malaria still affects millions of people across the globe, and that we all have a responsibility to do our part in helping to end this deadly disease.
Malaria is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death, with an estimated 219 million cases in 2017 alone. Malaria symptoms can include fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting, as well as more serious complications such as anemia, seizures, coma, and even death. Treatment for malaria involves medications that can kill the parasites in the blood and prevent further spread of the infection.
The History of World Malaria Day and Its Impact on the Global Fight Against Malaria
World Malaria Day is an annual event held on April 25th to raise awareness and mobilize resources for the fight against malaria. It was first observed in 2007, and since then it has become a powerful tool in the fight against this deadly disease. The day is used to highlight the need for continued action and investment in malaria control, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. It also serves as a reminder of the devastating impact that malaria has on public health globally. By bringing attention to this issue, World Malaria Day has been instrumental in mobilizing resources for research and development of new treatments and strategies to combat this disease.
What Are The Common Symptoms of Malaria and How Do We Diagnose It?
Common symptoms of malaria include -:
- Fever and sweating.
- Chills that shake your whole body.
- Headache and muscle aches.
- Chest pain, breathing problems and cough.
- Diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
As malaria gets worse, it can cause anemia and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).
The most severe form of malaria, which may progress to a coma, is known as cerebral malaria. This type represents about 15% of deaths in children and nearly 20% of adult deaths.
How is malaria diagnosed?
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms as early diagnosis and treatment can be lifesaving.Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms and travel history. It’s important to share information about the countries you’ve visited recently so that your provider can clearly understand your risk.
Your provider will take a sample of your blood and send it to a lab to see if you have malaria parasites. The blood test will tell your provider if you have malaria and will also identify the type of parasite that’s causing your symptoms. Your provider will use this information to determine the right treatment.
How is malaria treated?
It’s important to start treating malaria as soon as possible. Some parasites are resistant to malaria drugs.Some drugs are given in combination with other drugs. The type of parasite will determine what type of medication you take and how long you take it.
Antimalarial drugs include:
- Artemisinin drugs (artemether and artesunate). The best treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria, if available, is artemisinin combination therapy.
- Atovaquone (Mepron®).
- Chloroquine. There are parasites that are resistant to this medication.
- Doxycycline (Doxy-100®, Monodox®, Oracea®).
Prevention of Malaria-
Prevention of malaria is essential in order to reduce the incidence of this disease. This can be done through a variety of methods such as using insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying with insecticides, and prompt diagnosis and treatment with effective antimalarial drugs. Additionally, community engagement and education about prevention measures can also help reduce the risk of malaria transmission in affected areas.
How Can We Join the Fight Against Malaria On World Malaria Day?
World Malaria Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness and taking action against the deadly disease. Malaria affects millions of people around the world, and it’s up to us to join the fight against it. On this day, we can take action by donating to WHO’s Roll Back Malaria program, which works towards eliminating malaria in endemic countries. We can also spread awareness about preventative measures such as using insecticide-treated bed nets and taking preventive medications. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against malaria on World Malaria Day!