World Malaria Day: WHO calls for innovations, investments to boost fight against malaria
By Fatima Saka
World Malaria Day is a special day set aside, an international awareness campaign day, to inquest the needs for continuous investment, sustainability for malaria prevention and, controls the global efforts for eradicating Malaria.
In line with this, the world has made tremendous efforts since 2000, in saving lives against malaria. Globally, about 3.3 billion people in 106 countries of the world are exposed to malaria. However, April 25th is a day and opportunity for the whole world to highlight the need for diverse investments and governmental engagement to prevent and manage malaria.
WMD was instituted by World Health Organization (WHO) member states during the World Health Assembly of 2007.
The World Malaria Day 2022 Theme is “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.”
With the theme, it is an evident proof that there is no single tool available today will solve the problem of malaria, therefore WHO is calling for investments and innovation that bring vector control approaches, diagnostics, antimalarial medicines and other tools to speed the pace to war against malaria.
However, throughout history malaria has been a pestilence to humankind, reports have also shown that malaria DNA was discovered in Egyptian mummy tissues since 4000 years ago and mosquitoes that carry malaria diseases have been in existence over 100 million years. Research has also shed more light on the history of this diseases that killed more than 400,000 people annually.
The state of malaria, according to the 2021 world malaria report; almost the world’s population lives are at risk of malaria transmission in 87 countries and territories.
Meanwhile, in 2020, malaria caused an estimated 241 million clinical episodes, and 627,000 deaths. Over the year, there were estimated 219 million cases of malaria worldwide; most were in WHO African Region.
The WHO African Region carries high shares of the global malaria burden.
Four African countries that constituted half of all the malaria deaths worldwide are; Nigeria, (31.9%), the Democratic Republic of Congo (13.2%), Tanzanian (4.1%) and Mozambique (3.8%).
Africa is the most vulnerable to malaria diseases due to a combination of factors; a very high efficient mosquito (Anopheles gambiae complex) which equally responsible for high transmission.
In line with the WHO intervention in relatively with most malaria-endemic countries four interventions incurred to the case management which as follows; diagnosis and treatment, ITNs, IPTp, and IRS.
However, WHO recommended malaria prevention tools and strategies which include the effective vector control and the preventive antimalaria drugs that had a major efficiency in reducing global burden of these diseases.