Progress has stalled in the fight against malaria

Thursday, 26 Apr, 2018

Ready to beat Malaria is the new theme for this year's Malaria Day which aims to make the world malaria free.

According to epidemiologist Ragini Mishra, the state health society issues a malaria alert to district magistrates, civil surgeons and government hospitals due to a rising risk of acquiring the disease during the monsoon season.

In 2017, the number of malaria cases dropped by 35.4 percent from 2016.

Although malaria is a preventable disease, poor sanitary conditions and the lack of preventive vaccination keep it as a scourge in several third world countries, especially in Africa.

In addition Malaria in pregnancy remains the main cause of maternal and child deaths in the County according to the County Director of Maternal and Child Survival Programme Cornelius Kondo. The theme for World Malaria Day 2018 is "Ready to Beat Malaria".

"It is also gratifying that Algeria, Comoros, Madagascar, the Gambia, Senegal, and Zimbabwe have also been honoured this year by the African Leaders Malaria Alliance for leadership in scaling down malaria cases".

Travelers to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia have the greatest risk of contracting malaria, however all travelers to countries where malaria is present may be at risk for infection. Impacts of climate change which fuel the spread of mosquito-borne diseases and anti-malarial drug resistance alongside lack of responsibility from local authority have caused severe malaria outbreaks in areas where malaria control efforts are not sustainable.

This comes as the commemorates the World Malaria Day.

"Every two minutes, a child dies of malaria", said Stefan Swartling Peterson, UNICEF Chief of Health.

Without urgent action, the major gains in the fight against malaria are under threat.

This day has been chosen by African governments committed to reverse the progression of malaria and meet the malariarelated UN Millennium Development Goals.

"Nigeria could eliminate malaria if there was political will".

Idowu-Osehobo said: "Malaria is responsible for 60 per cent out-patient visits to health facilities, 30 per cent childhood death, 25 per cent of death in children under one year and 11 per cent maternal death in Nigeria".

Since 2000, the world has made historic progress against malaria, saving millions of lives.

"We believe that beating malaria means healthier societies, increased attendance at school and work, more productive communities, and stronger economies".

Introduction and expansion of effective interventions such as the use of Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), Artemesinin based Combination Therapies (ACTs) for the treatment of falciparum malaria and the promotion of long lasting Insecticide treated bed Nets (LLINs) has brought a revolution in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention program of the country.