Malaria is one of the most deadliest disease which continues to claim thousand of lives. Estimates suggest that globally 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk from malaria. The disease accounted for 627000 deaths in 2012, majorly in Africa. Regions such as Asia, Latin America to lesser extent the Middle East and Europe are also affected by Malaria. World Malaria Day came into existence to recognise the global efforts to control the disease. The day is observed internationally on 25th April marked as one of the eight official public health campaigns by the World Health Organisation.
Declared in 2007, the day provides “education and understanding of malaria” and spreads information on “year-long intensified implementation of national malaria-control strategies, including community-based activities for malaria prevention and treatment in endemic areas.” The theme for this year is “End malaria for good” which is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals reflecting a vision of malaria-free world by 2030. The WHO aims to reduce malaria case incidence and mortality by at least 90%.
The day provides a platform for the corporations and civil society to spread awareness about malaria. There is a need to continue efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria which slows down due to shortage of funds. Stronger partnerships, sound malaria control plans and smart investments will help to end the disease. It is also believed that ending malaria will help end poverty and improve maternal and child health. Fiinovation strongly believes that elimination of malaria will enable millions of people to reach their full potential and make the world a better place. Statistics suggests mosquito-borne diseases are major causes of illnesses and deaths globally.
Putting an end to the disease would mean that the resources utlised for curbing the disease are freed. This would require sustained funding, routine immunization and effective implementation of control plans. Research in this area helps fight other diseases such as Zika Virus. Therefore, by working together we can do what we once thought would be impossible for us. The governments should continue to provide funds for malaria campaigns. Even the corporations can contribute as part of their corporate social responsibility. Let us ensure that there is reduction in deaths every year. Cleaning of surrounding areas are must to stop spread of the disease. Everyone can do their bit and join the larger fight to end the disease.
By – Rahul Choudhury
Media & Communications, Fiinovation