How Nigeria can beat malaria by 2030

What is World Health Day and why is it important?

As the world marks the World Malaria Day, Wednesday, with the theme - Ready to Beat Malaria, experts have said Nigeria could eliminate malaria if there was political will.

The World Malaria Day is an worldwide observance commemorated every April 25 to recognize global efforts to control malaria with a common goal of ensuring a world free of malaria.

It is intended as an energising call to arms for organisations the world over to drive towards one shared goal of a malaria-free world.

He tells Health Minister Dr. Wilhemina Jallah that she is just coming on board with the resurgence of malaria, saying it is a challenge to all health workers to roll their sleeves and double their efforts.

Policymakers in Sub-Saharan Africa, he explains, need to know that there is the possibility of a high risk of malaria transmission through their blood banks.

The disease is caused by the Plasmodium parasites, which is spread to people through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito, also known as malaria vectors. After an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasites begin to multiply in the person's liver. The 10 and 15-year period following the adoption of the MDGs is considered a golden era in the fight against malaria. "Signs and symptoms include but not limited to fever, chills, headache, yellowness of eyes and dark urine".

Getty Images
Getty Images

Although malaria is a preventable disease, poor sanitary conditions and the lack of preventive vaccination keep it as a scourge in several third world countries, especially in Africa. These are questions many concerned individuals would wish to get answers to from their leaders, stakeholders and the WHO.

Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2012, the World Health Organization assessed the risk to children under five as being so high that they recommended an additional drug treatment during high transmission season. He recommends the use of mosquito-repellent creams and mosquito nets and advises travellers to wear long sleeves and long trousers to cover their skin.

He said that the prevalence rate was among the highest in world, adding that governments have not done much to reduce it within the last one year.

In a report released to mark World Malaria Day, WHO cited insufficient funding at both domestic and global levels as the cause of low provision of insecticide-treated nets, medicines and other life-saving tools as a key impediment in the fight against malaria. Limited access to malaria prevention, including health education, and treatment before, during and after the migration process render migrants more vulnerable and impact progress to control, eliminate and eventually eradicate the disease.

Christine Elder, United States Ambassador to Liberia, has confirmed that malaria accounts for at least 42 percent of outpatients' attendance and 44 percent of deaths among children under five at various health facilities in the country.

  • Joanne Flowers