World Malaria Day 2019
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Everything You Need to Know About Malaria

Today we celebrate World Malaria Day 2019. It is an essential day for global health and humanitarian development. More importantly, it’s an opportunity to continue advancing the agenda to fight malaria all around the world.

What is malaria?

Malaria affects millions of people annually. Mosquito bites are the primary way of transmitting the malaria parasite. Once it is in the human body, the parasite multiplies and causes the disease. There are several kinds of malaria parasites, depending on the specific malaria-endemic region.

In most cases, the disease resolves with proper treatment and medication. However, malaria can cause severe long-term health effects and even death. Read this article to learn more about malaria disease.

Symptoms of malaria?

Malaria presents similarly to other tropical viruses and diseases. Fever, nausea, vomiting, headaches, muscle pain, and fatigue are all typical malaria symptoms. In more severe cases, malaria may cause physical and neurological symptoms.

Commonly, doctors in malaria-endemic countries will quickly diagnose the disease. However, if you traveled to a country where malaria occurs and have returned home, make sure to inform your doctor. Due to lack of prevalence, it may be harder to diagnose the disease. Learn more about malaria symptoms.

Where does malaria occur?

Currently, malaria occurs in more than 100 countries. That means that millions of people are at risk of contracting malaria at some point in their life. Besides, the disease is one of the top child killers in the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region that particularly suffers from malaria. It has the highest disease burden, with around 90% of malaria cases occurring here. It also carries the highest number of adult and child deaths related to malaria. Learn more about places where you have the highest risk of getting malaria disease.

Prevention and treatment of malaria disease?

There is currently no vaccine for malaria. But several antimalarial medications can help to prevent the disease. If traveling to malaria-endemic areas, you should consider taking medicine before you travel. Typically, you will also need to continue taking antimalarials when you return.

In terms of treatment, doctors use the same antimalarial medicine as they do for prevention. However, if you took one as a preventative measure, you cannot take the same one for treatment. It’s essential to inform your doctor about your antimalarial regimen if any. To learn more about antimalarials, read this article.

NGOs fighting malaria

Hundreds of NGOs fight malaria disease daily. Their actions address a wide range of malaria-related issues. Some work on the ground, helping communities prevent the disease. This include reduction of mosquito sites, education, awareness, and general control of the spread of the disease.

On the other hand, many organizations focus on governance and advocacy. They lobby influential people to address the global issue of malaria to eradicate the disease. Some also collaborate on research and development of malaria vaccination. Learn more about International NGOs fighting malaria.

World Malaria Day

The global health community took strides in addressing malaria from the beginning of the 20th century. However, in the past few years gains have become insignificant. In 2017, 435,000 died from malaria disease, nearly the same number as in 2016. So, there needs to be more effort to reduce these numbers.

Also, it’s essential to consider that the heavy burden of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa is not coincidental. It disproportionately affects the poorest and the most vulnerable. Malaria disease is not only often the consequence of poverty but is also one of its causes.

This year, the official World Malaria Day celebration is taking place in Paris. The global health and humanitarian communities are celebrating this day and taking a stance all around the world. If you’d like to be part of the campaign, you can use the World Malaria Day 2019 official social media toolkit. Share the message of the fight against malaria!

Learn more about past World Malaria Day celebrations by reading about Ending Malaria and World Malaria Day 2018.

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