Top News

Sunday, Apr 26, 2020 13:00 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Apr 26, 2020 07:32 [IST]

25th April is World Malaria Day

“Zero malaria must start with me”

Ranjan K Baruah
All of us are worried and concerned about COVID19 which is bringing many questions in front of us. At the same time we should not ignore other diseases like Malaria which is a potentially life threatening parasitic disease caused by parasites known as Plasmodium viviax (P.vivax), Plasmodium falciparum (P.falciparum), Plasmodium malariae (P.malariae) and Plasmodium ovale (P.ovale). We are aware that this disease is transmitted by the infective bite of Anopheles mosquito. As COVID-19 spreads rapidly around the globe, there is an urgent need to aggressively tackle the novel corona virus while ensuring that other killer diseases, such as malaria, are not neglected.
According to World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Malaria Report 2019, there were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period 2014 to 2018. And nearly as many people died from malaria in 2018 as the year before. Urgent action is needed to get back on track, and ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria. The “Zero malaria” campaign engages all members of society: political leaders who control government policy decisions and budgets; private sector companies that will benefit from a malaria-free workforce; and communities affected by malaria, whose buy-in and ownership of malaria control interventions is critical to success.
Since 2000, global efforts to curb malaria have resulted in millions of cases and deaths averted – proof that progress is possible. In 2018, 27 countries reported fewer than 100 cases of malaria, up from 17 countries in 2010. Four countries – Algeria, Argentina, Paraguay and Uzbekistan – were certified malaria-free by WHO over the last 2 years and, globally, 38 countries and territories have achieved this milestone. Six countries of the Greater Mekong sub region – Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – reduced their malaria caseload by 76% in the period 2010 to 2018.
In 2018, total funding for malaria control and elimination reached an estimated US$ 2.7 billion, falling far short of the US$ 5 billion funding target of the global strategy. The latest World malaria report highlights major coverage gaps in access to core WHO-recommended tools for preventing, detecting and treating malaria, particularly in the world’s highest burden countries. More funding is must if malaria is to be end from the world by 2030 as one of the Sustainable Development Goals is ending malaria by 2030.
On World Malaria Day( WMD)  2020 which is observed on 25th April , WHO joins the RBM Partnership to End Malaria in promoting “Zero malaria starts with me”, a grassroots campaign that aims to keep malaria high on the political agenda, mobilize additional resources, and empower communities to take ownership of malaria prevention and care. The RBM Partnership to End Malaria is the global platform for coordinated action against malaria. It mobilises for action and resources and forges consensus among Partners. It was launched in 1998 by WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and the World Bank in an effort to provide a coordinated global response to the disease. Formerly known as Roll Back Malaria, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria has changed its name to reflect the opportunity the world has to end the disease for good.
Like many other countries India has malaria programme in the country which comes under National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. India has made progresses in malaria control in the country but it has to do more to make the country malaria free. In the time of COVID-19 pandemic, the malaria community must remain committed to supporting the prevention of malaria infection, illness and death through preventive and case management services.  As the theme of WMD 2020  is ‘zero malaria starts with me’, let us make it  a movement dedicated to driving action and making change and make the world free from malaria . Let us take up the challenge to end malaria as it is not impossible to end malaria.
(With direct inputs from WHO website and feedback may be sent to bkranjkan@gmail.com) 

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi