Every year on the 25th of April, World Malaria Day is commemorated to draw global attention to malaria and its catastrophic effects on families, communities, and societal development, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was instituted by the WHO Member States during the World Health Assembly of 2007.
Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that continues to wreak havoc on people’s health and livelihoods all across the world. In 2020, more than two-thirds of deaths in the WHO African Region occurred among children under the age of five. There is currently no single tool available to combat malaria. Innovative new tools, such as new vector control interventions and insecticides, improved diagnostics, and more effective medicines, are critical if the world is to meet global elimination targets.
The Theme of World Malaria Day 2022
The theme for this year’s World Malaria Day is “Harness innovation to reduce malaria disease burden and save lives”, which aligns with WHO’s call to urgently scale up innovation and the deployment of new tools in the fight against malaria, while advocating for equitable access to malaria prevention and treatment, all while building health system resilience.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, substantial advances in malaria prevention and control have been made in the past year. Despite the fact that this is a significant step forward in the creation of new instruments to combat the disease, with the potential to save millions of lives, supplies are now limited.
Despite some sluggishness in the reduction of malaria cases and deaths, as well as the delays to health services caused by COVID-19, we are still far ahead of where we were in 2000. There is a need to rekindle that enthusiasm and build on previous accomplishments.
The Significance of World Malaria Day
- World Malaria Day is an opportunity to reaffirm government commitment and encourage ongoing investment in malaria prevention and control. WHO urges malaria-affected countries and people to collaborate closely with development partners in order to move our countries closer to eradication while also contributing to the attainment of other Sustainable Development Goals.
- World Malaria Day is an opportunity to emphasize the importance of ongoing investment and political commitment to malaria prevention and control. WHO remains fully committed to the fight against malaria and believes that with close collaboration with governments, partners, and communities, we can overcome the challenge.
- World Malaria Day is a chance for the entire world to raise our voices in unison to keep malaria at the top of the global health agenda.
Call to Action
- Increase malaria research and development – The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of individuals who contract malaria and die as a result of it. This necessitates focusing on research and using existing data to guarantee cost-effective focused actions and deliver demonstrable outcomes.
- Increase the number of people who have access to the technologies available – It’s critical to make sure that the doses that are accessible are used to their full potential, while also ensuring that other preventive measures are available to individuals who are most at risk.
- Increase the use of RTS,S, the first malaria vaccine – The World Health Organization issued landmark recommendations on the use of the first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, late last year. This vaccine will be used to protect children aged six months to five years who reside in areas with moderate to high malaria transmission.
- Ensure that countries and healthcare systems have a strong sense of ownership and are resilient and equitable.
- Tailor reactions to the situation at hand and enhance security systems.
Malaria is about much more than medicinal and technological solutions. Malaria impacts individuals, families, and communities, and these groups must be enabled to participate actively in the fight against the illness. A single mosquito bite can bring us dangerously near to death. This day serves as a reminder that by working together, we can defeat malaria. Wishing you a very happy World Malaria Day!