- Malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by parasites, is preventable and can
be controlled by simple measures.
- Though new malaria cases reduced by
21% between 2010 and 2015 and malaria death rates fell by 29% in the same
5-year period, there is a gap in its prevention.
- WHO calls for greater investment in the development
and deployment of new malaria control tools to speed up prevention of the
year the 25th
of April is observed as World Malaria Day to highlight
the need for prevention and control malaria. Sustained funding for research,
preventive measures and drugs for treatment along with political assistance can
help in putting malaria to a halt.
World Malaria Day 2017 theme is 'End Malaria
The number of new cases of malaria has come down through various
prevention strategies such asscaling
up of insecticide-treated nets and indoor spraying with insecticides. But,
continuing the effort to wipe out malaria with new tools and necessary manpower
would help us improve maternal and child health, pregnant women and children under 5 being the most affected population.
A Note on Malaria
is a serious parasitic
disease and is carried to humans through mosquitoes infected with the protozoan
parasite called Plasmodium
. There are
5 species of Plasmodium
parasite) which infect humans.
‘The theme, ‘End Malaria for Good’ focuses on countries and their development partners closing the gap in accessing proven prevention measures.’
important fact about malaria is
that only the female mosquitoes belonging to Anopheles genus
vectors in carrying the disease. These mosquitoes' blood feed on infected humans and
contribute to the transmission of malaria. However, malaria is a non-contagious
disease and does not spread directly from person-to-person.
Fewer New Cases
half of the world's population was at risk of malaria in 2015. Sub-Saharan
Africa, South-East Asia, Latin America and the Middle East were mostly
affected. In 2015, Sub-Saharan African region was home to 90% of malaria cases
and 92% of malaria deaths.
between 2010 and 2015, the incidence of malaria, especially the rate of new cases among
populations at risk,
fell by 21% globally. Malaria mortality rates fell by 29% globally among all
age groups, and by 35% among children under 5. Preventive treatment for
pregnant woman increased five-fold between 2010 and 2015 in 20 African
Insecticide-treated mosquito nets and indoor residual
spraying - are effective in vector control. To prevent and reduce transmission
of malaria, controlling vectors or mosquitoes is key.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), are the mainstay of
malaria prevention efforts. WHO recommends that all people at risk of
malaria sleep under an LLIN every night.
- Indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides is another powerful way to rapidly
reduce malaria transmission. Depending on the insecticide formulation used
and the type of surface on which it is sprayed, indoor spraying is
effective for 3-6 months.
- For travelers, malaria can be
prevented through antimalarial drugs. Chemoprophylaxis suppresses the
blood stage of malaria infections, thereby preventing malaria disease.
- WHO recommends intermittent
preventive treatment with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine, at each scheduled
antenatal visit after the first trimester for pregnant women living in
moderate-to-high transmission areas.
- Along with the routine
vaccinations, 3 doses of intermittent preventive treatment with
sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine are recommended for infants living in
high-transmission areas of Africa.
Malaria Chemoprevention, an additional malaria prevention strategy for areas of
the Sahel sub-Region of Africa was suggested in 2012. The strategy
involves the administration of monthly courses of amodiaquine plus
sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine to all children under 5 years of age during the
high transmission season.
- Developing new nets to prevent insecticide resistance should also
be a priority. Using 2 different insecticides in a mosquito net can
mitigate the risk of the development and spread of insecticide resistance.
Meeting the Goal
WHO's Global Technical Strategy for Malaria calls for a 40% reduction in malaria cases and deaths by 2020
compared to 2015 baseline levels. Only 40 of the world's 91 countries with
malaria transmission are on track to achieve these milestones.
Many people who live in malaria-affected countries continue to lack access to
lifesaving prevention tools.WHO is calling on
malaria-affected countries and their development partners to boost investments
in malaria prevention to speed progress towards these global targets. Apart
from the two forms of vector control - insecticide-treated mosquito nets and
indoor residual spraying, there is a need to develop new tools.
With the required funds and a joint effort from countries in
prevention, we can transform our common vision - End Malaria for Good
- into a shared reality.
- Malaria Facts - (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/)
- World Malaria Day, 25 April 2017 -