Malaria Current Affairs

25 April: World Malaria Day

The World Malaria Day (WMD) is being observed every year on 25 April across the world to recognise the global efforts to control preventable vector borne disease malaria. It also seeks to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for elimination and control of malaria.

The theme of 2018 WMD is “Ready to beat malaria“. The theme marks mportance of collective responsibility and commitment of global community in bringing together people on working towards making world free of malaria. It also puts exemplary progress achieved in tackling malaria under spotlight.

Background

The World Malaria Day (WMD) was established by the 60th session of World Health Assembly, a decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2007. It was established to provide understanding and education of malaria and also spread information on year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies. It is one of eight official global public health campaigns currently marked by the WHO.

Malaria

Malaria is mosquito-borne infectious disease most commonly transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquito. It caused by parasitic protozoans (a group of single-celled microorganisms) belonging to Plasmodium type. After an infected mosquito bites human, parasites begin to multiply in person’s liver. It progresses to infect and destroy red blood cells (RBCs) in the body. Common symptoms of severe malaria include flu, fever and chills respiratory distress and deep breathing, abnormal bleeding, signs of anaemia and impaired consciousness. Malaria can be controlled by early diagnosis.

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Malaria Summit held in London

The Malaria Summit was held in London, United Kingdom organisations to make game-changing commitments towards beating malaria. It was organized by non-profit organisation Malaria No More in conjunction with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Key Facts

The summit coincided with Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, a biennial convening of 53 Commonwealth leaders, whose countries are disproportionately affected by malaria. It united 14 heads of state and governments, scientists, private sector and international organisations to make game-changing commitments towards beating malaria.

The participants committed on high level political commitment towards malaria elimination, significant increase in investment from malaria endemic countries to leverage and complement donor funding, new innovative tools to overcome the growing threat of resistance and improved methods to track disease to enable more effective and efficient intervention and to prevent resurgence.

The summit pledged investment of over $3.8 billion to pay for innovation in malaria research and treatment. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria also pledged $2 billion would be invested in 46 countries affected by malaria between 2018-20.

Malaria

Malaria is life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease caused by Plasmodium parasite. It is transmitted to humans through bite of Anopheles mosquito. Once infected mosquito bites human, the parasites multiply in host’s liver before infecting and destroying red blood cells.

Symptoms of mosquito resemble those of flu, but, without treatment, the effects can sometimes be long-term and fatal. It can be treated and controlled with early diagnosis. Currently, no vaccine is licensed for use in the United States or globally, although one is available in Europe.

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