World Malaria Day April 25 2017

The World Health Organization has since 2007 marked the World Malaria Day on April 25

The reason for highlighting this day is to call attention to the global efforts for an effective control of the disease. In recent years, campaigns for indoor use of mosquito repellents along with extensive use of mosquito nets in risk areas have resulted in a better global malaria situation. In the period 2000-2015 the rate for malaria deaths worldwide has been reduced by 60 percent, according to the World Health Organization. The estimated number of new malaria cases in this period have been reduced by 37 percent.  WHO’s target for malaria control is a 90 percent reduction of deaths and incidence of malaria by 2030 compared to 2015.

Malaria is one of the world’s most widespread infections. Malaria mosquitoes are most active from sunset to sunrise. Infection from malaria parasite is a risk in 97 countries, and about 88 percent of malaria cases occur in Africa. WHO has estimated that in 2015 there were approximately 214 million new cases of malaria that caused 430 000 deaths worldwide.

Each year about 125 million people travel from countries free from malaria to malaria endemic areas, and about 10 000 -30 000 of them get infected by malaria.

Preventive measures against malaria includes antimalaria medication and reducing the chances of being bitten by using mosquito spray, mosquito nets and clothing that covers most of your body. Research shows that the mosquito/insect repellent containing DEET has the best effect against mosquito bites. A repellent containing 50 % DEET will provide protection for up to 6  hours. Fine mesh mosquito nets impregnated with permethrin should be used over the bed and to cover open windows. In addition, one should always wear clothing with long pants, long arms and socks when outside after sunset in the endemic areas.

Source: FHI – Norwegian Public Health Institute.