Friday, April 25, 2014

World Malaria Day 25th April 2014

World Malaria Day is a chance to shine a spotlight on the global effort to control malaria. Each year, Roll Back Malaria (RBM) partner organisations unite around a common World Malaria Day theme. Invest in the future: defeat malaria is a three-year theme partners chose for the period of 2013-2015 to call attention to the need to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and defeat malaria in the future.

Malaria Worldwide
·         3.3 billion people - half the world's population - are at risk of malaria
·         One million people die each year from malaria
·         Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria
Malaria in Africa          
·         90% of all malaria deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa
·         1 in 5 childhood deaths are caused by malaria
·         Malaria is responsible for a 1.3% growth penalty per year in some African countries
·         10,000 pregnant women and 200,000 infants die from malaria in Africa
·         Malaria costs Africa more than $12 billion in lost GDP every year
Malaria remains one of the world's biggest health challenges, with efforts across the world to eliminate the mosquito-borne disease failing so far.April 25 has been named as World Malaria Day, to remind the public and the world that malaria is both preventable and curable

Mortality rates falling

Malaria mortality rates have fallen by 42 per cent globally since 2000, but still approximately half of the world's population is at risk from the disease. The World Health Organization says it killed around 627,000 people in 2012.Most of the malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. In Asia, the greater Mekong sub region countries of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, are showing parasite resistance to artemisinin, the major component in anti malarial drugs.With three out of four people being at risk of malaria in South-East Asia region, World Health Organization today called for greater investment in the battle against malaria on the occasion of World Malaria Day. Even though the number of confirmed malaria cases in the Region, which is home to a quarter of the world’s population decreased from 2.9 million in 2000 to 2 million in 2012, the disease remains a significant threat to the lives of people.
’1.4 billion people continue to be at risk of malaria in South-East Asia. They are often the poorest, including workers in hilly or forested areas, in development projects such as mining, agroforestry, road and dam constructions, and upland subsistence farming in rural and urban areas,’ said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia. Stressing that the funding needs to be increased for diagnostics, drugs, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and research and response to drug and insecticide resistance, Singh said, ‘We need to empower communities to protect themselves. Eliminating malaria will take greater political will.
India is expected to decrease malaria case incidence by 50?75 per cent by 2015. Sri Lanka is in the elimination phase with no indigenous case reported since November 2012. Maldives has been malaria-free since 1984. Bangladesh, Bhutan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Nepal, and Sri Lanka reduced the incidence of malaria cases by more than 75 per cent from 2000 to 2012. Thailand and Timor-Leste are on track to achieve a decrease of over 75 per cent.
Artemisinin-based combination treatment (ACT) is currently the first line treatment for the most lethal type of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum. Resistance to this drug would compromise the lives of hundreds of thousands of people affected with malaria, and there is an urgent need to invest in ways to contain the spread of resistance to these drugs, said Singh.
‘Another danger lies in the fact that the Anopheles mosquitoes, which carry malaria parasites, are increasingly become resistant to insecticides. ‘Investments are needed to develop new tools, to conduct operational research to address bottlenecks in malaria control programmes, and to scale-up and ensure rational use of existing interventions,’ said Singh.

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