World Malaria Day is an event celebrated annually on April 25th to recognize the global efforts to control the disease. This day is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of the global efforts to achieve a world free of malaria. The theme this year is "Commitment to Action".
Malaria is a major public health problem in many parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that nearly half of the world's population is at risk of malaria, with an estimated 219 million cases worldwide in 2017.
How to Prevent Malaria
Over several decades, researchers have struggled to develop vaccines to solve this infectious disease. However, at this time, none are effective and successful yet. Since it is currently impossible to employ vaccines in providing protection against malaria, malaria control by early diagnosis and treatment becomes crucial in global malaria management.
The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that malaria is both preventable and curable.
Site-based diagnostic testing can minimize sickness and mortality by enabling healthcare providers to quickly differentiate between malarial and non-malarial fevers and select the most effective therapy. It contributes to the overall care of patients with febrile diseases and may also help prevent medication resistance from developing and spreading.
Meanwhile, for people who live in or travel to areas where malaria is common, some preventive actions are indispensable to lower the probability of getting malaria.
The WHO also recommends that all patients with suspected malaria receive prompt malaria diagnosis using microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) before receiving therapy. Early and precise diagnosis is critical for both good illness care and efficient malaria monitoring. If a person develops symptoms of malaria, it is necessary to look for healthcare providers immediately, to seek treatment and medication to cure malaria effectively.
Diagnostic Methods for Malaria
Malaria diagnostic methods generally include clinical diagnosis, microscopic diagnosis, rapid tests for antigen detection, molecular diagnosis (such as PCR), serology, and drug resistance tests. Among them, microscopic examination and rapid tests are the most widely used in malaria diagnosis
The theme of this year’s World Malaria Day is a call to action for everyone to work together to improve access to quality malaria services, increase investments in research and development, and to prioritize the needs of those affected by malaria. Everyone has a role to play, and World Malaria Day is the perfect opportunity to stand together and express a commitment to combat this deadly and preventable disease.