Today is World Malaria Day. This year’s theme is “Achieving Progress and Impact”. The slogan of the celebration for the WHO African Region is “Together, we can achieve more“.
Malaria is an infectious blood disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted from person to person by the bite of a particular mosquito. The parasite enters the bloodstream often causing fever, headache, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms. If drugs are not available or the parasites are resistant to them, the infection can lead to coma, life-threatening anemia, and death.
Close to 90% of deaths due to malaria worldwide occur in Africa. The poor, children, pregnant women, people living with HIV/AIDS, victims of unrest and disasters and non-immune travelers are particularly vulnerable. World Malaria Day – which was instituted by the World Health Assembly at its 60th session in May 2007 – is a day for recognizing the global effort to provide effective control of malaria. It is an opportunity.
This year’s celebration marks the end of the UN Decade to Roll Back Malaria (2001-2010). This year’s celebration of Malaria is a unique opportunity to assess progress in terms of governance, program performance, partnerships and coverage of key interventions (Insecticide Treated Nets, Indoor Residual Spraying, Intermittent Preventive Therapy, Diagnostic tests and Artemisinin Based Combination Therapy). By the end of 2010, eleven countries in the Region had reduced the burden of Malaria by at least 50%.
On the Occasion of World Malaria Day, Dr Luis Gomes Sambo, The WHO Regional Director for Africa calls upon Governments, parliamentarians, Nongovernmental Organizations, the private sector, civil society groups, faith-based organizations and all exposed communities to learn from successes, strengthen partnerships, build program capacity at central and peripheral levels, enhance awareness and knowledge and mobilize financial resources to accelerate malaria control towards its eventual elimination as a major public health problem in Africa (http://www.afro.who.int/en/media-centre/events/details/222-world-malaria-day-2011.html).
Freedom From Hunger is a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting hunger around the world. Malaria is something else they are fighting and they are asking people to help them to reach more families with education that teaches them about the true cause of malaria, how to prevent it, the symptoms and how to get the right treatment. You can help them by donating, tweeting about it or sharing it on Facebook or sending an e-card to friends and family. You can help to spread awareness about this disease. You can help to save lives.
You can make a difference in the year round fight to count Malaria out by contributing your news, events and resources to the World Malaria Day website. You can watch the following video and learn more about this disease. You can read success stories. Give children the chance to grow up. Help to eliminate Malaria.