It’s a breakthrough moment for the treatment of malaria. Just two days before World Malaria Day 2019, doctors in sub-Saharan Africa began immunizing children with the world’s first malaria vaccine.
This is welcome news. Health experts predict the medicine could save the lives of tens of thousands of children each year.
As recently as 2016 the world experienced 216 million new cases of malaria. Mosquitos may seem like an annoying summertime pest to people in many countries, but in others, a bite can be deadly. World Malaria Day, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), falls on April 25.
While malaria is not contagious, anyone can get it. Symptoms include fever, sweats, chills, headaches, malaise, muscles aches, nausea, and vomiting.
World Malaria Day timeline
Spanish invaders brought malaria to the Americas.
Colonizers and missionaries used the cinchona tree bark to treat malaria.
French scientists purified quinine from the cinchona bark and found it effective for malarial fevers.
British doctor Ronald Ross proved that malaria is transmitted by mosquito. He won the Nobel Prize.
Malaria was largely eradicated in the West due to DDT; eradication followed in many countries across the globe.
The day provides education and information about malaria on a global scale.
How to Observe World Malaria Day
Share the details
Education is key. Posting this information on your social platforms will raise awareness about this deadly, but avoidable disease.
Make a donation
There are many worthwhile nonprofit groups working to bring malaria treatment tools to the countries that need them most. See how you can help by sharing your time or making a financial donation to assist their efforts.
Organize an event
Ask for people to support a reputable malaria prevention charity. Nearly everyone knows about malaria, but do they know how straightforward some of the prevention tools are?
Why World Malaria Day is Important
Malaria killed 435,000 people in 2017
While progress is being made on reducing the number of new malaria cases, the disease continues to kill hundreds of thousands of people every year. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected.
A plan to reduce mortality rates by 90% over the next decade
In order to reach that target, the World Health Organization uses World Malaria Day to highlight the need for regular investment and continued political commitment for malaria prevention.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease
World Malaria Day is an opportunity for health organizations involved in malaria prevention to share stories of how they are conquering the disease.
World Malaria Day dates