World Malaria Day 2018 has “Ready to beat malaria” as its theme. Every year, April 25 is celebrated as World Malaria Day. Malaria is a life-threatening disease which is caused by mosquito bites. Malaria is caused by plasmodium parasite and is transmitted in humans through the bite of Anopheles mosquito. After an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasites begin to multiply in the person’s liver. It progresses to infect and destroy red blood cells in the body. Common symptoms of severe malaria include flu, fever and chills, deep breathing and respiratory distress, abnormal bleeding, signs of anaemia and impaired consciousness. Some cases of malaria can be controlled by early diagnosis. But there are some countries which are unable to treat malaria in the initial stages effectively.
World Malaria Day is an international observance commemorated every year on 25th of April and recognised global effort to control malaria. Globally 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria.
World Malaria Day is observed by all member states of World Health Organisation.
World Malaria Day(WMD) was established in may 2007 by the 60th session of the World Health Assembly, World Health Organisation (WHO) decision making body. The day was established to provide ”education and understanding of malaria” and spreed information on year-long intensified implementation of national malarial-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas.
Prior to the establishment of WMD, Africa Malaria Day was held on 25th April. Africa Malaria Day began in 2001, one year after the historic Abuja declaration was signed by 44 world malaria endemic counties at the Africa summit on malaria.
WMD allows corporations, multinational organisations and grassroots organisations globally, to work together to bring ”awareness” to malaria and advocate for ”policy” change
World Malaria Day: Theme and Significance
This year, the World Health Organisation has joined hands with its partner organisations in order to promote its theme of Ready to beat Malaria. The theme marks the importance of collective responsibility and commitment of the global malaria community in bringing together people on working towards a world free of malaria. The theme puts the exemplary progress achieved in tackling malaria under the spotlight. It also puts focus on disturbing trends captured in World malaria report in 2017.
Also, the World Malaria Day this year coincides with activities that will mark WHO’s 70th anniversary. As part of awareness campaigns and events organised in order to mark the day, the WHO will be sharing several 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 most recent World Malarial report, the global tally reached 429,000 malaria death and 212 million new cases in 2015. The rate of new malaria cases fall by 21 percent globally between 2010 and 2015, and malaria death rate fell by 29 percent in the same period. In sub-saharan Africa case incidence and death rate fell by 21 percent and 31 percent respectively.
The response which is achieved regarding malaria globally is at a point where there is need to make a crucial decision with far-reaching consequences. This is because the progress towards controlling malaria has stopped after achieving an unprecedented period of success in controlling malaria.
The WHO says in a report that 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 calls for reduction in incidence of malaria cases and death rates by almost 40%.
In the present day scenario, countries with ongoing transmission of malaria are increasingly falling towards either of the two categories: the ones moving towards completely eradicating malaria and the ones who have a high burden of the disease, and have reported a tremendous increase in malaria cases over the years.
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.