Published: Thu, April 26, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

WHO Joins Urgent Call to Stop Malaria's Resurgence

WHO Joins Urgent Call to Stop Malaria's Resurgence

The theme highlights the collective goal of the global malaria community for a malaria-free world, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

The two most common and effective treatments for malaria are in fact preventatives: insecticide treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spray.

Quoting a report of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lal Thanzara said almost 213 million of world's population had malaria and four lakh people died of mosquito bites in 2016. Without urgent action, countries risk going backwards and missing the global malaria targets for 2020 and beyond. Meanwhile, faster growth was also seen in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai where 201 people contracted the malaria virus, a 2.3-fold surge year on year.

Infants, children and pregnant women constitute some of the most at-risk groups. Rwanda and Nigeria together saw an increase of over 1.5 million cases, while DRC recorded an additional 500,000 cases in 2015-2016. The term originally denoted the unwholesome atmosphere caused by the exhalations of marshes, to which the disease was formerly attributed (the malaria mosquito is a nighttime feeder and breeds in stagnant water).

The disease is caused by the Plasmodium parasites, which is spread to people through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito, also known as malaria vectors. Public Health Care (PHC) facilities can all test for malaria and treatment is available at this level.

We call on countries and the global health communities to close the critical gaps in the malaria response. In most cases, malaria deaths are related to one or more serious complications, including anaemia, cerebral malaria, low blood pressure, breathing problems, organ failure, etc. In 2016 alone, 216 million new cases of malaria were reported, and approximately 445,000 people died of the disease - a lot of them children.

After a surge of success in recent years, progress looks to have stalled.

While malaria transmission showed a gradual decline in Limpopo since 2000, Limpopo reported an increased transmission of malaria during 2017, with 17 765 cases reported between January and December 2017.

"Malaria is bad for business", AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina told the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, a coalition of 49 African Heads of State and governments that was established in 2009 to eliminate malaria by 2030, during the African Union Summit in January.

In 2017, the number of malaria cases dropped by 35.4 percent from 2016.

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