End Malaria For Good25th Apr, 2016
World Malaria Day is observed worldwide on 25 April to recognize global efforts to control malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquito bites to humans. 3.2 billion people (almost half of the world population) are at risk. Malaria causes symptoms that include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms occur usually 2 weeks after being bitten. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later.
The disease is widespread in the tropical and subtropical regions that exist in a broad band around the equator. This includes much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In 2015, there were 214 million cases, and 438 000 deaths from Malaria. Currently, 97 countries have on-going malaria transmission.
Pakistan has a population of 180 million inhabitants of which 177 million are at risk of malaria, with 3.5 million presumed and confirmed malaria cases annually. Pakistan accounts for 43.2% of the population at high risk of malaria in the Eastern Mediterranean Region of World Health Organization (WHO) and 23.4% of the confirmed cases. Malaria in Pakistan is typically unstable and major transmission period is post monsoon i.e. from August to November.
The key underlying factors for malaria outbreaks in Pakistan include unpredictable transmission patterns, low immunity in impoverished areas, poor socioeconomic conditions, natural disasters including floods and heavy rain fall in some areas and lack of access to quality health care.
The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by using mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water.