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Health A to Z

World Malaria Day: Zero Malaria Starts with Awareness

Dr. Srividya Kalavagunta

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease & its prevention requires intervention by multiple stakeholders.

On 25th April, as the world observes World Malaria Day, the need to raise awareness about malaria cannot be ignored. Female mosquito species is the major cause of Malaria. A coordinated approach by government organisations, active participation by media, education of health workers and municipal personnel, and conducting conferences and seminars for the general public are some of the proven ways of creating awareness on malaria infection and its prevention. Consult a general physician on mfine and get advice on preventive measures and treatment.

Malaria is one of the significant public health issues in developing countries. Approximately 36% of the world population is susceptible to the risk of contracting malaria in 90 countries. WHO estimates 300–500 million malaria cases every year, and 90% of these cases are in Africa alone.

According to the World Health Organisation, in India, about 15 million cases and 20,000 deaths are reported annually due to malaria. India contributes 77% of total malaria cases in Southeast Asia.

How malaria is transmitted?

Malaria is transmitted through the bite of female mosquitoes. Transmission is intensified by climatic conditions, such as high rainfall, high temperatures, and high humidity. In these conditions, the mosquitoes’ lifespan is longer which increases the chances of transmission.

Symptoms of Malaria

Malaria usually begins with shivering and chills, followed by a high fever and sweating. Symptoms of malaria typically begin within a few weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito. In some types, malaria parasites can lie dormant in your body for up to a year. Generally, malaria infection is characterised by the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Muscle pain
  • Sweating
  • Chest and abdominal pain

Children, infants, and pregnant women are especially prone to severe malaria. Looking at how fast malaria can become life-threatening, it is important to get medical attention as quickly as possible. See a doctor if you’re getting a fever with chills while living in or travelling to an area that has high incidences of malaria.

How can we prevent malaria?

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease and its prevention requires intervention by multiple stakeholders. Spraying homes, schools, hospitals, offices with insecticides and sleeping under insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are two of the most effective malaria-prevention measures. There is also a need for environmental control to prevent mosquito breeding grounds.

When prevention of malaria fails, treatment becomes crucial. Having access to health care centres and health care workers who have the knowledge to treat malaria at its different stages is vital for effective treatment.

With concerted global efforts, the number of deaths due to malaria have halved in the last decade, but there are still approximately 219 million cases of malaria every year, resulting in more than half a million deaths (Report, WHO).

The need of the hour is to have an integrated intervention plan not just for the prevention of malaria, but also its diagnosis and treatment. A general physician at mfine will be able to recognise malaria and treat you to health. Download the mfine app today and begin online consultation with specialists from the comfort of your home.

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