25 April, World Malaria Day will be recognized in 2021. This year, it is to celebrate the efforts of countries that have eliminated malaria or are attaining with their constant efforts.
2021 Theme: Reaching zero malaria target
The target for World Malaria Day, 2021 is ‘Reaching zero malaria target’. Surely, the theme speaks for it.
The World Health Organisation published a report on 21 April depicting the success and lessons of countries eliminating malaria.
Previously, the World Health Assembly initiated the Global Technical Strategy for Malaria, 2016-2030.
The target was to lower and eliminate malaria cases within 15 years.
A total of 21 countries were chosen that had the potential to eliminate malaria and report zero malaria cases.
Since 2017, through the E-2020 initiative, WHO has helped 21 nations in their battle with malaria. Indeed, the efforts bore fruits. As countries reached zero malaria cases.
Moreover, there have been various success and progress stories across nations.
2000-2019 (Success stories)
- In total, there has been an increase from 6 countries to 27 countries that have reported less than 100 indigenous malaria cases.
- Furthermore, 21 countries celebrated at least 3 consecutive years of zero malaria cases.
- WHO declared 21 countries malaria free.
- While China by reporting zero malaria cases, since 2016, has now applied for the malaria-free country certificate.
2021- El-Salvador is certified malaria-free by WHO. Additionally, it became the first country in Central America to achieve this milestone.
Altogether, the purpose of World Malaria Day has brought significant developments and achievements.
While countries continue to make progress in combating malaria cases. Some countries are yet facing the crisis of malaria.
The below statements are according to 2019 data by WHO-
- The African region of WHO accounted for 94 % of malaria cases and related deaths of the world.
- Rest, the 3% and 2% cases recorded from WHO South-East Asia and Eastern- Mediterranean regions, respectively.
- The last 1% percent was recorded from WHO Western Pacific and WHO America regions.
- Sub- Saharan Africa reported two-third of deaths of children under 5 years of age.
Beginning- World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day was initiated in 2007. This day embarked on its journey to spread global awareness about malaria. Importantly, its goal is to reflect the need for financial investments and worldwide political commitment against malaria.
The WHO Member States during the World Health Assembly initiated this day.
Nonetheless, the efforts and initiative of World Malaria Day have gained significant outcomes.
Yet, it is a long journey ahead.
While the COVID pandemic has grabbed attention worldwide. Ignorance towards other health issues and diseases like these are beyond negligence. Hence, WHO has made sure to spread awareness amidst this pandemic.
Subsequently, country leaders, health workers joined a virtual forum held on 21 April. It was a joint initiative by WHO and its partner RBM (Roll Back Malaria).
Author: Mansi Goel
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