LAHORE – World Malaria Day is being observed across the world including Pakistan today (Tuesday) in order to raise awareness about the disease.
World Health Organization (WHO) actively plays a role in promoting and supporting World Malaria Day whereas theme for this year is ‘A Push for Prevention’.
“WHO-recommended tools have made a measurable difference in the global malaria fight,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO. “But we need a much bigger push for prevention – especially in Africa, which bears the greatest burden of malaria.”
WHO’s latest report states that Malaria is endemic in ninety-one countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 43% of people at risk of malaria in the region were not protected by either a net or indoor insecticide spraying in 2015.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), 3.5 million people fall prey to Malaria every year in Pakistan whereas more than 4 lac people die of this disease across the world. Balochistan’s 22 out of 32 districts have been declared high-risk for Malaria.
Medical experts said that cleanliness, disposal of stored contaminated water and mosquito repellents can prevent from the outbreak of the disease.
Acting WHO Representative in Pakistan said that on World Malaria Day, WHO is calling on countries and their development partners to provide universal access to malaria prevention tools for everyone at risk.
Earlier, WHO announced to test a new malaria vaccine on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020.
The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five.
The vaccine, also known as Mosquirix, was manufactured by the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, and the large-scale three-country pilot will test it on children aged five to 17 months.
The drug passed previous scientific testing — including a phase three clinical trial between 2009 and 2014 — and was approved for the pilot programme in 2015.