World Malaria Day 2022: From causes to who all are at risk, here's all you need to know

Updated: Apr 26, 2022, 11:09 AM(IST)

World Malaria Day is commemorated on 25 April every year. 

This year the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated 2022 World Malaria Day with the theme “Harness innovation to lower the malaria disease burden and save lives” and to encourage investments and innovations in diagnostic and antimalarial drugs.

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Malaria: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Malaria is a parasitic disease spread by bites from infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. This disease is both- avoidable and treatable. Human malaria is caused by five parasite species, two of which- Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most dangerous.

Symptoms of malaria generally appears in 10-15 days after the mosquito bite. The first indications of malaria are: fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, lethargy, chills, stomach-ache, this can be mild and even difficult to recognise as malaria. However, children with severe malaria symptoms can be anaemia, metabolic acidosis, cerebral malaria. 

Malaria is a disease that can be prevented and even treated. Artemisinin-based combination therapy is the current best treatment, especially for Plasmodium falciparum malaria (ACT). Malaria can also be prevented with antimalarial medications and vaccinations as well.


WHO recent estimates

As per WHO’s recent World Malaria report, approximate estimate for malaria cases in 2020 was 241 million, up from the year 2019. Malaria deaths are expected to reach 627,000 in 2020 and increase of 69,000 over the previous year. 

Expanded access to WHO recommended malaria prevention techniques and strategies such as effective vector control and the use of preventative antimalarial medications has had a significant impact on reducing the worldwide malaria cases.


Who all are at risk?

As per WHO predictions, nearly half of the world population would be at danger by the year 2020. Infants especially children under the age of 5, pregnant women and HIV/AIDS patients are highly at risk and also people who have low immunity are at significantly higher risk of contracting malaria and developing severe disease symptoms.


Most malaria infected regions globally

The worldwide malaria strain continues to fall dipropionate on the WHO African region. In the year 2020, the region was accounted for 95 per cent of all malaria cases and 96 per cent for deaths.  Nearly 80 per cent of the deaths was of children under the age of five.

Nigeria with 31.9 per cent, the Democratic Republic of Congo with 13.2 per cent, Mozambique with 4.1 per cent are accounted for half of the malaria deaths reported globally, as per the WHO reports.


Status of Malaria in India

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday that India has made a remarkable success in managing malaria cases in the country, with an 86.54 per cent drop in the number of cases and 79.16 per cent reduction in the number of cases in 2021 in comparison to the year 2015, PTI reported.

He further added that there have been no malaria cases reported in 124 districts across India, This is a significant step towards the country’s objective of eradicating malaria, but there is more work to be done to realise malaria-free India. 

He emphasised that frontline healthcare workers like ASHAs and ANMs as well as partner organisation must work together to raise knowledge about diagnosis, timely and effective treatment and vector control measure.

As per the union minister, the health minister especially the private practitioners must coordinate their malaria case management, reporting and related operations with national programme, reported by PTI.


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