Malaria is a major cause of ill-health and death, especially in children and pregnant women. It is a cause of low birth weight, premature deliveries, still births and abortion in women.
The world has made historic progress in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of malaria.
The major priority now is the development of an effective vaccine against P. falciparum which is able to reduce overall childhood mortality in Africa by 30% or more.
The theme of this year’s world malaria day is “Ready to beat malaria”. Malaria is caused by infection with sporozoa of genus Plasmodium, transmitted in nature by the bite of female Anopheles mosquito.
Preventive approach of malaria include:
- Chemoprophylaxis which implies the use of antimalarial drugs to prevent malaria before infection occurs or before it becomes obvious.
- Vector control activities which aims at eliminating or reducing the mosquito population. These include environmental control, biological control, personal protection and the use of insecticides.