Yesterday the world marked World Malaria Day, which is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. It was instituted by the World Health Organization (WHO) Member States during the World Health Assembly of 2007.
This year, WHO and partners will mark World Malaria Day by celebrating the achievements of countries that are approaching – and achieving – malaria elimination. They provide inspiration for all nations that are working to stamp out this deadly disease and improve the health and livelihoods of their populations.
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of countries reported zero indigenous malaria cases in 2020, while others made impressive progress in their journey to becoming malaria-free. Ahead of World Malaria Day, country leaders, frontline health workers, and global partners came together in a virtual forum held on 21 April to share experiences and reflections on efforts to reach the target of zero malaria.
To date, there have been over 229 million recorded cases of malaria and 409,000 malaria-related deaths in 87 countries with children under the age of 5 years in sub-Saharan Africa making up approximately two-thirds of the recorded casualties from malaria. This is why the Volunteer Medical Corps (VMC) is committed to helping to reduce the incidence of malaria in her member nations through health education, malaria prevention seminars, and distribution of insecticide-treated nets and antimalarial drugs.
The Volunteer Medical Corps, also known as the International LoveWorld Medical Community Network, is an ever-expanding global network of Christian health care workers, non-medical volunteers, and students committed to providing medical care, through outreaches, humanitarian assistance, and sustainable health care solutions in regions of crisis and to communities in dire need.
The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) is proud to sponsor the dedicated work of the VMC and their efforts to improve emergency response and trauma care, the foundation aspires to improve the health and life expectancy of individuals, local communities, and nations by promoting improved health care, supporting national policies and creating a healthier, safer and more positive world by making sure that every life counts.
In most cases, malaria is transmitted through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes. There are more than 400 different species of Anopheles mosquito; around 30 are malaria transmitters. All of the important species bite between dusk and dawn. The intensity of transmission depends on factors related to the parasite, the vector, the human host, and the environment.
Transmission or vector control is the main way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission. If coverage of vector control interventions within a specific area is high enough, then a measure of protection will be effective across the community. Malaria is a life-threatening disease that is preventable and treatable. WHO recommends protection for all people at risk of malaria with effective malaria vector control.
There are three ways to prevent malaria infection 1. Use of window and door screens and intact mosquito nets in endemic areas. 2. Use of insect repellent agents on the skin and in sleeping environments which should be reapplied frequently. 3. Clearing of bushes around homes and removal of stagnant water to prevent the spread of mosquitoes.