If you have not been aware, now you know that April 25th is World Malaria Day! It is a day to commemorate global efforts to control malaria, examining the progress that has been made toward malaria elimination and to renew efforts toward achieving the target of zero malaria deaths by 2015.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease widespread in tropical and subtropical regions including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas. The disease causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma, and even death.
Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of inexpensive mosquito nets and insect repellents, or by mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides inside houses and draining standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
However, hundreds of thousands of people are still contracting malaria and many of these people are unable to access appropriate and timely, treatment.
All over sub-Saharan Africa, already struggling economies are being battered by the economic burden of the disease, which is estimated to cost Africa $12 billion a year. Malaria remains a leading cause of preventing children to attend schools and work absence putting tremendous pressure on household incomes. In addition, weak health systems are over-burdened by the relentless demand for care and medication.
Reducing the impact of malaria is key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, which are geared towards not only combating the disease itself, but the improvement of women’s and children’s rights to health, access to education and the reduction of extreme poverty.
Photo by Maggie Hallahan/Sumitomo Chemical
World Malaria Day gives us a chance to make a difference.
Help end malaria by 2015! There are many ways you can help to reduce deaths caused by malaria. Donate mosquito nets by visiting NothingButNets.net or find out other ways to get involved at worldmalariaday.org.
Also, check out couple of events hosted by Harvard about Malaria:
Rethinking Malaria: From the Gene to the Globe
A Seminar in Recognition of World Malaria Day 2011
- When: Tuesday, April 26, 12:00 – 2:00pm
- Where: Harvard School of Public Health, Francois Xavier Bagnoud Building, Room 301
- Talks by
- Sangeeta Bhatia, PhD,Professor of Health Sciences & Technology and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
- Caroline Buckee, PhD,Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
- Günther Fink, PhD, Assistant Professor of International Health Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
- Sponsored by the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Epidemiology and Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health
- Lunch will be served – Space is limited – Open to the Harvard community
A Harvard Student Benefit Concert in Commemoration of World Malaria Day
- When: Wednesday, May 4, 8:00 – 10:30pm
- Where: Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge
- Sponsored by the Harvard Malaria Initiative
- For tickets visit www.cluboberon.com
Help us work today to achieve a malaria-free world tomorrow!