UN Observance: World Malaria Day, April 25, 2016

On Monday April 25, the UN commemorates World Malaria Day, to provide a common platform for countries to showcase their successes in malaria control and unify diverse initiatives in the changing global context.

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The theme for 2016 is “End Malaria For Good”. Following the great progress made under the Millennium Development Goals, it is important to build on this success and ‘end malaria for good’ under the Sustainable Development Goals.

How malaria is spread from one person to the next?

Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken from an infected person. When a mosquito bites an infected person, a small amount of blood is taken in which contains microscopic malaria parasites.shutterstock_200494427

Is malaria a disease?

Malaria disease can be categorized as uncomplicated or severe (complicated). In general, malaria is a curable disease if diagnosed and treated promptly and correctly.

How do we combat it?

  • Smart investments and strong partnerships have resulted in dramatic progress against malaria in the past 15 years. Malaria mortality has decreased by 60 percent, with 6.2 million lives saved since 2000. Malaria is no longer the leading cause of death of African children.
  • Defeating malaria is critical to ending poverty and improving maternal and child health. Less malaria means healthier societies, increased attendance at school and work, more productive communities, and stronger economies.
  • We must sustain robust financial investment, political will and innovation to ensure continued success against malaria. While both international and domestic funding to fight malaria have dramatically increased between 2005 and 2014, continued strong commitments and sustained funding will be needed to end malaria once and for all.
  • Eliminating malaria will make the world a better, safer place for future generations and enable millions of people to reach their full potential. Mosquito-borne diseases are a major cause of illnesses and deaths worldwide. Advances in research and tools to fight malaria will help transform how we combat other infectious diseases, like Zika Virus.

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At the economic level, Malaria is estimated to cost endemic countries up to 1.3% GDP. Achieving the 2030 Development targets for malaria control will add an estimated US$ 1.2 trillion to endemic countries’ economies as the disease can account for up to 40% of public health spending in the most endemic countries.

Help spread the word, don’t just watch:

Tweet: “Africa fights #malaria – http://defeatmalaria.org/”; #worldmalariaday; #endmalaria

To find out about events in your area please check out this interactive map available here.

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