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World Malaria Day, 25 April 2018

World Malaria Day is celebrated on April 25 every year to promote actions to put an end to malaria. World Health Organization (WHO) continues to call for greater investment and expanded coverage of proven tools that prevent, diagnose and treat malaria.

This year’s World Malaria Day theme is “Ready to Beat Malaria”. This theme underscores the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria. It highlights the remarkable progress achieved in tackling one of humanity’s oldest diseases, while also calling out worrying trends as reported in the World malaria report 2017*.

WHO at 70: 7 decades in the global malaria fight

This year’s World Malaria Day coincides with the start of a year-long series of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of WHO.


  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease; that is preventable and curable.
  • Malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female anopheles mosquitoes.
  • In 2016, there were 216 million cases of malaria (marking a return to 2012 levels) and 445 000 malaria-related deaths worldwide.
  • Since 2010, 6 countries have been certified malaria-free (Armenia, Maldives, Morocco, Kyrgyzstan, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan), and several others are moving closer to obtaining this status.
  • On the one hand, a greater number of countries are advancing towards elimination as in 2016, 44 countries had less than 10,000 cases of malaria, compared to 37 countries in 2010. However, a second group of countries with a high burden of malaria, mainly in Africa, reported significant increases in malaria cases in 2016.

High risk areas for malaria transmission in India:

Malaria is a public health problem in India. The majority of malaria cases are reported from eastern and central part of the country and from states which have forest, hilly and tribal areas. These states include Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and some north-eastern states like Tripura, Meghalaya and Mizoram. In India malaria cases have consistently declined from 2.08 million in 2001 to about 8.4 lakhs in 2017.

Malaria control strategies in India:

Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is the central nodal agency for the prevention and control of vector borne diseases including malaria and other VBDs (Dengue, Lymphatic Filariasis, Kala-azar, Japanese Encephalitis and Chikungunya) in India.

The national strategic Plan (NSP)** has been developed by NVBDCP, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India with the support of WHO to provide a road map for making India malaria free by 2027.

Malaria control strategies consist of:

a. Early case detection and prompt treatment (EDPT):

EDPT is the main strategy of malaria control and radical treatment is necessary for all the cases of malaria to prevent transmission of malaria in the community.

b. Vector control:

Mosquitoes in the community can be controlled with the combination of multiple activities such as chemical and biological control.

c. Personal protective measures against mosquito bites:

  • Use of mosquito repellent creams, liquids, coils, mats etc.
  • Screening of the houses with wire mesh
  • Use of bed nets pretreated with insecticide
  • Wearing clothes that cover maximum surface area of the body

d. Environment management and community awareness about detection of mosquito breeding places and their elimination. Swachh Bharat Mission promotes people to keep vicinity clean thereby elimination of breeding places for mosquitoes.

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