Fun Facts Friday takes a bit of a somber turn today as we look ahead to World Malaria Day slated for Saturday, 25th of April. World Malaria Day is an annual international observation of the shared global effort towards controlling malaria.
Approximately 3.3 billion people in 106 countries around the world are at risk of malaria.
Over 627,000 malaria-related deaths were recorded in 2012, most of these among African children. The Middle East, Asia, Latin America and parts of Europe are also affected, although to a lesser degree. According to recent World Malaria Reports, malaria cases resulted in over 429,000 deaths in 2015 with over 212 million new cases.
World Malaria Day was birthed from the efforts across the African continent to honor Africa Malaria Day. It was established in May of 2007 by the decision-making body of the World Health Organization; the 60th session of the World Health Assembly. Africa Malaria Day was previously held on April 25 beginning in 2001, a year after the African Summit on Malaria in Abuja.
The observance serves as an opportunity to provide education as well as a deeper understanding of the potency of malaria. There is a need to spread information on improved execution of national control strategies for malaria. Similarly, community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas are also important.Zero Malaria starts with me. Click To Tweet
The observance provides a platform for large corporations, multinational and grassroots organizations to campaign for policy changes. This is one of the ways we can fight malaria effectively; by making sure prevention and precautionary measures are at the fore-front in policy making.
In Nigeria, WMD is often celebrated with a display of mosquito nets, testing and distribution of malaria drugs, and seminars on combating and controlling the disease.
Even as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, killer diseases like malaria cannot be overlooked. There is an ever-present need to combat the spread of malaria while keeping the pandemic in perspective.
The WMD observance aims to maintain a high priority for malaria on the political agenda. Empowering communities to take responsibility for prevention and care are the major issues that need attention.
See WMD (who.int/news-room/campaigns/world-malaria-day/world-malaria-day-2020) for more details and information on the observance and its importance around the world.