World Malaria Day is honored on April 25 to raise awareness of the global campaign to reduce and eventually eliminate Malaria. World Malaria Day first came into existence in 2008. It evolved from Africa Malaria Day, which African governments have commemorated since 2001.
The WHO claims Malaria is a preventable disease but still has a terrible effect on people’s health and way of life worldwide. According to estimates, in 85 countries in 2020, there were 627,000 malaria-related deaths and 241 million new disease cases. Children under five who resided in the WHO African Region accounted for more than two-thirds of deaths.
History of World Malaria Day
WHO adapted the concept from Africa Malaria Day in 2007 to fight against the disease the African government has observed since 2001. A meeting sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2007 proposed changing Africa Malaria Day to World Malaria Day to raise awareness of the prevalence of Malaria in all nations at the World Health Assembly’s 60th session.
The basic idea behind this is to raise awareness of the global battle and acknowledge the prevalence of Malaria worldwide.
Significance of World Malaria Day
This deadly illness caught people’s attention on this day and inspired cooperation among individuals to stop it. Additionally, by setting up fundraisers for the campaign, the day enables new donors to contribute to the fight against Malaria. Further, it aims to connect educational and research institutions so that they can share any discoveries about the disease.
Many businesses and individuals donate money to programs supporting malaria research on this day. Events and seminars highlight the disease, its treatment options, and available preventative measures.
What is Malaria?
A parasite is responsible for Malaria. Through mosquito bites carrying the parasite, humans become infected. Malaria generally causes intense illness, including high-grade fever and shivering with chills.
Malaria usually spreads in tropical and subtropical areas, despite being rare in temperate climates. Over 400,000 people/year pass away from Malaria, affecting millions of people annually.
International health initiatives spread malaria prevention medications and bed nets treated with insecticides to safeguard people from such diseases causing due to mosquito bites. For children of nations with a high rate of malaria, the World Health Organization has recommended a malaria vaccine.
What are the symptoms of Malaria?
Malaria sufferers occasionally experience recurrent “attacks.” Typically, an attack begins with chills and shivering. The patient experienced high-grade fever and sweating. Later return to normal temperature.
After a bite from a mosquito carrying malaria infection for a few weeks, malaria signs and symptoms usually appear. Some malaria parasite types, however, can slumber inside body for around 1 year.
Malaria symptoms and signs can include:
- A general feeling of discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
What are the causes of Malaria?
One of the major causes of Malaria is plasmodium-genus single-celled. Mosquito bites are the main method of parasite transmission to people.
The cycle of mosquito transmission:
When a mosquito carrying the microorganism of Malaria bites a person, it contracts the disease.
Within the liver
Parasites move to your liver once they enter your body. These parasites can lay dormant for up to a year.
Directly into the blood:
Once the parasites reach maturity, they move from the liver to your RBCs. People typically start to exhibit symptoms of Malaria at this time.
Prevention measures to reduce Malaria
If you plan to visit or temporarily reside in an area where Malaria is prevalent, talk to your doctor about taking anti-malarial medications. You must take the medications before, during, and after your stay. Medicine can lower malaria risk. If you take these medications but still acquire Malaria, you cannot use these medications to treat it.
If you want to prevent yourself from mosquito bites, you should also take precautions. To lessen your risk of getting infected by the Malaria pathogen, you should:
- To shield exposed skin from mosquitoes, use diethyltoluamide insect repellent.
- Cover beds with mosquito netting.
- Install screens on the doors and windows.
- Apply permethrin, an insect repellent, to clothing, mosquito nets, tents, sleeping bags, and other fabrics.
- To protect your skin, wear long sleeves and pants.
- Keep your house and surroundings clutter- and waste-free.
- Watch out for symptoms like fever with a high temperature when it comes to disease control. Consult a doctor as soon as you detect any potential malarial signs.
- Keep in mind that mosquitoes become more active at night and pose a greater risk if you leave your windows and doors open. To seal your window, you can either use a mosquito net or any other net, leaving it available throughout the day.
- You can take anti-malarial tablets, depending on your condition and prescription.
This parasitic infection requires a multifaceted approach for control and eradication. Various tools are currently available to help prevent the spread of the disease through the mosquito vector, including insecticide spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets. However, no preventive measure is 100 per cent successful. Artemisinin-based combination therapy is the current first-line treatment approach advised by the WHO (ACT). These drugs will prevent Malaria, help to reduce transmission, lower mortality rates globally, and contribute to timely diagnosis, appropriate education, and ample treatment resources.
When do the indications and signs of Malaria start to occur?
The first symptoms of Malaria usually appear 10–30 days after infection. Depending on the parasite type, the symptoms’ severity can change. After getting bitten by a mosquito, some people experience no symptoms for up to a year. Parasites can occasionally lie dormant in the body for years without causing any symptoms.
Some types of Malaria can return, depending on the parasite. Before being released into your bloodstream, the parasites spend years dormant in your liver. The symptoms reappear when the parasites begin to move.
Who can get Malaria?
Malaria is a disease that can infect people who travel to areas where it is endemic. Young children who live in malaria areas, pregnant women, and people with HIV/AIDS are among those in South Africa who are at risk for severe and complicated Malaria.
Who is most likely to contract Malaria, become seriously ill, and die?
The type of Malaria that frequently results in severe and potentially fatal cases is Plasmodium falciparum, a parasite that is widespread in many African nations south of the Sahara desert. The risk of dying from Malaria is greatest in those who got bitten by mosquitoes carrying P. falciparum. Young children, pregnant women, and travellers from places with no malaria are more likely to get sick and die from Malaria than people with little or no immunity to the disease. The prevalence of this disease is higher among the poor, the people without access to healthcare who live in rural areas.
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