Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
New Delhi: Malaria continues to be the biggest public health issue worldwide with about 3.2 billion people - almost half of the world’s population - at risk from the disease.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 78% of people who die from malaria are children under 5, mostly in sub-Sahara Africa. In 2015, there were 214 million cases, and 438 000 deaths from malaria.
In India, the scenario is nerve-racking, it is said that malaria affects 2 million Indians annually and kills over 50,000 people in the country every year.
There are currently no licensed vaccines against malaria or any other human parasite. But, malaria can be avoided by following some guidelines. Here's how:
- Avoid mosquito bites and stay inside when it is dark outside, preferably in air-conditioned room
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, particulary from dusk to dawn
- Use bed nets while sleeping
- Use insect repellent - insect repellent with DEET (N,N diethylmetatoluamide) cna be used on skin. It is recommended to use a preparation containing less than 24% strength in young children.
- Sprays containing permethrin are safe to use on clothing
- Keep your surroundings clean by treating your home's walls with insecticide that can help kill adult mosquitoes
- Take preventative anti-malarial drugs whilst travelling overseas, especially to malaria-prone countries
World Malaria Day is observed every year on April 25. The theme for 2016 is "End Malaria for good". The theme reflects the vision of a malaria-free world set out in the “Global technical strategy for malaria 2016-2030” by the World Health Assembly in May 2015, which aims to dramatically lower the global malaria burden. The Strategy sets ambitious but achievable global targets, including, reducing global malaria case incidence and mortality rates by at least 90% by 2030.