Current Affairs

25th April – World Malaria Day

25th April is observed internationally as World Malaria Day. It is celebrated to recognize global efforts to control malaria.
25th April – World Malaria Day
  • The World Malaria Day is aimed at taking an immediate and urgent action in malaria control, because the major gains in fight against malaria are under threat unless this is done. 
  • Hence, the WHO invites for bigger and greater investments and expanding coverage of tools that help in preventing, treating and diagnosing malaria.

Background

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • About half of the worlds’ population is at risk of malaria, particularly those in lower-income countries. 
  • The World Health Assembly instituted World Malaria Day in May 2007.
  • World Malaria Day gives people the chance to promote or learn about the efforts made to prevent and reduce Malaria around the world. 
  • It gives international partners, companies and foundations a chance to showcase their efforts 

World Malaria Day 2018

  • The theme for World Malaria Day 2018 is "Ready to beat malaria".
  • This theme projects the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria.
  • The World Malaria Day this year coincides with activities that will mark the 70th anniversary of WHO (World Health Organization). 
  • In order to mark the day several awareness campaigns and events will be organized.
  • WHO will share various interviews with leaders and advocates who have been involved in malaria control.
  • These leaders will come together to reflect on key moments in fighting malaria over the past 70 years.
  • According to the WHO, the current pace of malaria control is not sufficient as per its set target for 2020 under the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030. 
  • The target is to reduce the incidence of malaria cases and death rates by almost 40% by 2020.
  • Less than half (40) of the world’s 91 countries with malaria transmission are on track to achieve these milestones. 

Key facts

  • Malaria is known to be a life-threatening disease which is caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. 
  • Malaria can be cured and prevented.
  • In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries, 5 million more than the 211 million cases reported in 2015. 
  • The latest World Malaria report, which was released in 2017, says that the number of deaths caused by malaria among children under 5 years of age has reduced to 2,85,000 in 2016 from 4,40,000 in 2010.
  • Children under 5 are particularly susceptible to malaria. The disease claims the life of a child every 2 minutes.
  • According to the Who, it infects more than 500 million people each year and kills more than one million people.
  • After an unprecedented period of success in malaria control, progress has stalled.
  • The current pace is insufficient to achieve the 2020 milestones of the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030.
  • Countries with ongoing transmission are increasingly falling into one of 2 categories-
    • those moving towards elimination of malaria
    • those with a high burden of the disease that have reported significant increases in malaria cases.
  • To speed progress towards these global targets, WHO is calling on malaria-affected countries and their development partners to boost investments in preventing malaria. 
  • To protect the people, there is a need for the National Malaria Control Programmes to take special measures.
25th April – World Malaria Day 25th April – World Malaria Day Reviewed by Aman Bhatia on April 25, 2018 Rating: 5

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