World Malaria Day 2022 | 26 Apr 2022

For Prelims: World Malaria Day, Efforts to Control Malaria

For Mains: Health, Malaria and its Eradication

Why in News?

World Malaria Day is observed on 25th April every year to spread awareness of the global effort to control and ultimately eradicate malaria.

  • World Malaria Day was first held in 2008. It was developed from Africa Malaria Day, which was an event that had been observed since 2001 by African governments.
  • The theme 2022 is "Harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.”

What is Malaria?

  • About:
    • Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito borne blood disease caused by plasmodium parasites. It is predominantly found in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South America as well as Asia.
    • The parasites spread through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
      • After entering the human body, parasites initially multiply within the liver cells and then attack the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) resulting in their rupture.
    • There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax – pose the greatest threat.
    • Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness.
    • It is preventable as well as curable.
  • Malaria Vaccine:
    • Known by its lab initials as RTS, S but branded as Mosquirix, the vaccine has passed lengthy scientific trials that found it to be safe and reducing the risk of malaria by nearly 40%, the best recorded.
    • It was developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) company and approved by the European Medicines Agency in 2015.
    • The RTS, S vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite (Plasmodium (P.) falciparum, the deadliest species of the malaria parasite).
  • India's Scenario:
    • Malaria Burden: The World Malaria Report (WMR) 2020 released by World Health Organization (WHO), which gives the estimated cases for malaria across the world, indicates that India has made considerable progress in reducing its malaria burden.
      • India is the only high endemic country which has reported a decline of 17.6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.

What are the Initiatives to Curb Malaria?

  • The WHO has also identified 25 countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025 under its ‘E-2025 Initiative’.
  • In India, malaria elimination efforts were initiated in 2015 and were intensified after the launch of the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) in 2016 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • NFME is in line with WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria, 2016-2030, which guides the WHO Global Malaria Programme (GMP), responsible for coordinating WHO's global efforts to control and eliminate malaria.
  • The National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination (2017-22) was launched in July 2017 which laid down strategies for the following five years.
    • It gives year-wise elimination targets in various parts of the country depending upon the endemicity of malaria.
  • Implementation of the High Burden to High Impact (HBHI) initiative was started in four states (West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh) in July 2019.
  • Distribution of Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) to high burden areas has led to a reduction in endemicity in these otherwise very high endemic states.
  • The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has established Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India) which is a conglomeration of partners working on malaria control.

Source: IE