25th of April every year is set aside for marking the World Malaria Day by the World Health Organization (WHO ) and the theme for this year is ‘ a push for prevention’ and has a tag ‘malaria prevention works’. The formulation of the millennium development goals (MDGs) which addressed extreme poverty and ill health which lasted between 2000-2015 were successful in reducing the prevalence of malaria around the world as well as leading to drop in the mortality rates by about half in that period . This means millions of possible malaria deaths were averted- mostly children under five years old , fewer people are also getting infected with malaria,with many countries focusing on elimination of the disease as a potential target.
While all these are promising signs , more than half of the world’s population are still at risk of infection and a possible resurgence due to resistance to some drugs that therefore threatens the progress made so far. It is of note that about 500,000 people die from malaria yearly, with about 400m people falling ill with malaria yearly,70% of these people are children under the age of five and malaria is the number one killer of pregnant women but the good news is that these whole evil is preventable .
The WHO focuses more on prevention and that is being advocated strongly this year, 43% of those at risk of malaria are not protected by insecticide treated nets or indoor residue spraying of insecticides. A long lasting insecticide treated net for covering remains the most effective prevention method , though indoor residual spraying of insecticides also works some . Vector control issues are also being pushed very well with a lot of communities spraying the exposed sewage canals and gutters in Lagos for example to kill mosquitoes lavas etc, preventive therapies for susceptible individuals are being effected and finally efficacious antimalarials like the Lonart ranges and P-Alaxin are available if and when anyone comes down with the disease in spite of all. Many vaccines are also being worked on and currently going through different trial stages .
We can all help ourselves by taking the preventive steps mentioned earlier and ensuring we do not allow stagnant waters around us to dissuade the festering of the vectors around.
Greenlife Pharmaceuticals Limited