MALARIA DAY 2022: DID YOU KNOW THAT MALARIA MEANS “BAD AIR”?
The theme for World Malaria Day 2022 is “Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.” As the world continues to fight the deadly malaria disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working toward finding out new techniques and innovations that can help fight malaria easily.
World Malaria Day 2022 focuses on the importance of controlling malaria and creating awareness against the disease.
FACTS ABOUT MALARIA YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED.
- The word “malaria” means “bad air.” In the 18th century, people thought that malaria was caused by breathing bad air in marshy areas. In 1880 scientists discovered that this was not true, but the name stuck.
- Malaria is spread by parasites. Five different parasites can cause malaria in humans, but the Plasmodium falciparum parasite is the most deadly. The parasites enter the human bloodstream through the diarrhoea bite of an infected mosquito.
- Among all communicablee diseases, malaria is the third largest killer of children between the ages of one month and five years, following pneumonia and diarrhea.
- Malaria can pass from human to human. You cannot “catch” malaria like you can a cold, but people can pass it on by sharing needles, blood transfusions and through pregnancy.
- There were an estimated 241 million cases of malaria reported worldwide in 2020. An estimated 627,000 of malaria deaths in 2020.
- The African region was home to 95% of malaria cases and 96% of malaria deaths.
Plasmodium parasite that causes malaria
- Early symptoms can include fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, chills, headache, muscle aches, cough and sweating. If not treated within 24 hours the disease can worsen, leading to seizures, impairment of brain and spinal cord function, loss of consciousness and death.
- Malaria in pregnancy contributes significantly to deaths of mothers and young children, with an estimated tally of at least 10,000 women and 200,000 infants under one year old.
- There is a cure for malaria. There are different drug treatments available depending on the strain of malaria an individual is infected with. The drugs cure malaria by killing all of the parasites within a person’s bloodstream. However, new waves of drug-resistant malaria are threatening the lives of millions.
- Sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) is the most common and most effective way to prevent malaria infection. In 2016, an estimated 54% of people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa slept under an ITN compared to 30% in 2010. However, the rate of increase in ITN coverage has slowed since 2014. Less than half of households in sub-Saharan Africa have enough nets for all occupants.
- Four out of five malaria deaths occur in one of 15 countries: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Mozambique, Ghana, Angola, Uganda, Mali, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon, Niger, Guinea and Chad. More than one in three malaria deaths occur in two countries: Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Countries that have achieved at least 3 consecutive years with no local cases of malaria are eligible to apply for certification of malaria elimination. In the last decade, six countries have been certified as having eliminated malaria: Morocco (2010), Turkmenistan (2010), Armenia (2011), Maldives (2015), Sri Lanka (2016) and Kyrgyzstan (2016). In the previous two decades, there was one United Arab Emirates (2007).
Let’s unite kill malaria. Every year, the Malaria Day allows international companies, partners, and foundations to work together in fighting against the disease.