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World Malaria Day 2017

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It’s World Malaria Day on April 25 and the theme for 2017 is ‘A Push for Prevention.’

Malaria is endemic in 91 countries and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes (which abound in the region), carriers of Plasmodiun – the parasite, that injects malaria into the bloodstream on contact. This parasite can live for up to 30days in a body and cannot be spread from person to person except in pregnancy.

Malaria kills more than 400,000 people annually. One child dies from Malaria every two minutes and a vast majority are young children in Sub-Saharan Africa; especially in Nigeria and DRC. In 2015, 90% of malaria cases and 92% of malaria deaths occurred in Africa. WHO estimates that there were 212 million new cases of Malaria in 2015 worldwide and 182 million Nigerians are at risk of an infection. Malaria was eliminated in the United states in the late 1940s.  

On a global scale, new malaria cases fell by 21% between 2010 and 2015. Malaria death rates fell by 29% in the same 5-year period. Reduced malaria mortality rates, particularly among children aged under 5 years, have led to a 12% rise in life expectancy.

World Malaria Day is an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. WHO is calling on malaria-affected countries and their development partners to boost investments in malaria prevention. In parallel, the Organization is calling for greater funding for the development, evaluation and deployment of new tools. In 2015, malaria financing totalled US$ 2.9 billion.

Malaria symptoms are: general weakness, body ache, dizziness, fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting.

You can protect yourself in the following ways:

  • Sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets
  • Use insecticides or apply repellents
  • Do not leave stagnant water around; they help mosquitoes breed
  • Clear cloth clusters or piled laundry as they present a hiding place
  • Go for intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp)

Remember that malaria parasites attack the bloodstream and can take up to 30 days to manifest. If you have malaria symptoms, go for diagnostic testing.

It is a medically encouraged to complete your dosage even when you feel better half-way through.

 

Data source: World Health Organisation ( http://www.who.int/en/ )


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