World Malaria Day 2019: The Current Scenario and Preventive Steps for the disease
Malaria is a disease caused by Plasmodium parasites. People are afflicted by this parasite if they are bitten by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.
The symptoms of the disease usually show 15-20 days after the mosquito bite which comprises of fever, a cold feeling, and headaches. These symptoms which can be mild in nature can’t always be recognized as malaria which leads to delayed treatment with possibly fatal results. In the case of children, the symptoms of malaria include anemia, respiratory problems with regards to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria.
Reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) unfortunately reveals that no progress has been made in eradicating malaria from 2015-17. There were approximately 435,000 malaria-related deaths in 2017, a statistic which remained almost the same throughout 2018 as well, the report stated.
10 African countries faced around 3.5 million more cases of malaria in 2017 as compared to 2016. An Indian news report in 2017 said that India ranked 4th country in the world in the number of malaria deaths.
It is imperative for us to take some preventive steps towards malaria. The following are some of them:
- Before traveling to any place, carefully understand the risk of contracting the disease with regards to the place you are staying and the duration. The exposure to malaria depends from place to place within a single country
- Avoid staying near places where mosquitoes breed such as stagnant water bodies (lakes, puddles)
- Use a bed-net sprayed with insecticides. Ensure that the bed-net doesn’t have any holes and it properly tucked under the mattress so as to not leave any gaps
- Mosquito repellant creams are a must
- If you are prescribed to take antimalarial medicine then stick to the dosage schedule and do not break the consumption pattern
- If you feel any flu-like symptoms within one year after coming back from your travels, immediately visit the doctor and provide him with the details of the trip. This is because although the symptoms of malaria are displayed within a week, the disease can take up to a year to break out
On World Malaria Day 2019, WHO is associating with RBM Partnership (a global platform working towards ending malaria) and the African Union Commission for the campaign “Zero Malaria starts with me” with an aim to:
- Ensure that malaria is on the priority list for political parties
- Organize resources for the cause
Enable communities to take preventive steps and appropriate care