World Malaria Day

  • World Malaria Day is observed every year on 25th April.
    • World Malaria Day was first held in 2008. It was developed from Africa Malaria Day.
  • Theme for World Malaria Day 2023 is “Time to deliver zero malaria: invest, innovate, implement”.
  • WHO officially endorses disease-specific global awareness days for only four diseases namely, HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Hepatitis.

About Malaria

  • Malaria is a caused by parasites (Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium ovale) that are transmitted through the bite of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • In the human body, parasites initially multiply in liver cells and then attack the Red Blood Cells.
  • There are 5 Plasmodium parasite species that cause malaria in humans and 2 of these species – falciparum and P. vivaxpose the greatest threat.
  • It is predominantly found in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South America and Asia.
  • It is preventable and curable.
  • Symptoms-high fever, chills, headache and other flu-like symptoms.
  • Infants, children under 5 years, pregnant women, travelers and people with HIV or AIDS are at higher risk of severe infection.

Malaria in India

  • In 2021, India accounted for 79% of all malaria cases in Southeast Asia, according to the World Malaria Report 2022, released by the WHO.
  • India also accounted for about 83% of all malaria deaths in the region.

 Initiatives  to counter Malaria

  • WHO’s Initiatives:
    • The WHO has also identified 25 countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025 under its ‘E-2025 Initiative’.
    • The WHO’s Global technical strategy for malaria 2016–2030 aims to reduce malaria case incidence and mortality rates by at least 40% by 2020, at least 75% by 2025 and at least 90% by 2030 against a 2015 baseline.
    • WHO has initiated the High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) initiative in 11 high malaria burden countries, including India (in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh).
  • India’s Initiatives:
    • National Framework for Malaria Elimination (2016-2030) aims at India being malaria-free by 2027 and to eliminate the disease by 2030.
    • Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India)- established by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) It is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control.
    • Distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to high burden areas

Related info

R21 vaccine

  • R21, otherwise referred to as Matrix-M malaria vaccine, is the second vaccine ever developed for a disease.
  • Ghana and Nigeria have recently granted approval.
  • Developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
  • Has not been approved by WHO yet.
  • The first-ever malaria vaccine, RTS, S or mosquirix was approved by the WHO in 2021.
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