Malaria continues to claim lives all over the world, most of which are from the African region. In the 2020 World Malaria Report, the WHO reports that malaria accounted for close to 409,000 deaths in 2019. These statistics are testament to the fact that the fight against malaria is far from over.
Combined global efforts to fight malaria have made significant progress since the turn of the century. However, recent years have seen a plateau in the initial downward trend, which is at risk of spiking upwards, especially with the ongoing pandemic. The Covid-19 has challenged malaria responses as efforts are concentrated on preventing its transmission and caring for the sick. There are fewer sensitization campaigns and resources to fight malaria.
The 2020 malaria report contends that a 25% obstruction to malaria treatment can potentially result in a 46,000 increase in deaths. Consequently, it is imperative to step up prevention measures against the disease.
During such turbulent economic times, most Kenyan parents prefer to send their children home to rural villages where farm-grown food provides easier sustenance. However, the fight against hunger should not make us forget about that against mosquitoes, especially with the recent rains experienced in the country.
In the African region, most resources to prevent malaria are provided by international organizations, which means they are currently in low supply owing to the pandemic. However, there is much that can still be done to prevent the spread of the disease. For instance, public awareness creation is essential in sensitizing the population and educating them on how to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Prevention is especially critical because the overwhelmed healthcare facilities are unlikely to have enough resources and personnel to cater to increased malaria patients.
The Reckitt company, which manufactures Mortein Doom insecticides, has been relentless in its efforts of malaria prevention. The distribution of other resources like treated nets from international organizations has been adversely affected by the pandemic. However, Mortein Doom insecticides are readily available at local shops, even in the rural areas where the children have been taken.
The company is also actively participating in antimalaria campaigns alongside its partners and national malaria prevention campaigns. These contribute to mass education and awareness creation, which empower the public with the information and resources necessary to prevent themselves from contracting malaria.
Every year on April 25th, the global community celebrates Malaria day. This day is an opportunity to celebrate the milestones achieved over the years, recognize global efforts, and highlight what needs to be done moving forward. Despite positive progress, the WHO affirms that every two minutes, a child dies of malaria. Hence, eradicating malaria is of utmost importance. This year’s theme is Zero Malaria-Draw the line against malaria. Achieving zero malaria calls for all of us to work together and ensure the progress made over the years in fighting malaria is not erased.