WORLD MALARIA DAY – April 25, 2011

World Malaria Day

April 25, 2011

More than three billion people are at risk of malaria, according to the World Health Organization. That’s roughly half the world population. And while malaria is both preventable and treatable, one million lose their lives to the disease every year. Children are particularly vulnerable. In fact, a child dies every 30 seconds because of malaria.
April 25th is World Malaria Day.
We hope you will join us in the fight against malaria and take a stand by:
2. Learning more.
3. Spreading the word

Facts on Malaria


Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via bites of infected mosquitoes. Only one type of mosquito, Anopheles genus, and only the females of that species, can transmit the disease. There are four types of human malaria: Falciparum, Vivax, Malarial or Oval. Vivaz is the most common and Falciparum is the most dangerous.


Malaria is related to a wide variety of symptoms. The initial symptoms – fever, headache, chills, and vomiting – typically arise within 10 to 15 days of the mosquito bite. If malaria is not treated quickly, it can lead to serious complications and could be fatal.
The most severe form of malaria, and the most deadly is Falciparum, or cerebral malaria. This type of malaria is characterized by neurological problems, particularly convulsions and coma. According to Roll Back Malaria, an estimated seven percent of children who survive cerebral malaria are permanently affected by ongoing neurological problems like weakness, blindness, speech problems, and epilepsy. This kind of malaria kind be found in much of Africa as well as Haiti.


The first greatest tragedy of malaria is that it can be prevented. Indoor residual spraying with insecticide, mosquito repellent cream, chemoprophylactic agents, and insecticide-treated mosquito nets can all be very effective in preventing mosquito bites. Anti-malarial medicines, such as chloroquine, doxycicline, and malarone, can also be taken to prevent malaria.


The second greatest tragedy of malaria is that it is curable, if the person infected seeks treatment quickly. That means many of the malaria deaths that occur every year are ones that could have been completely avoided had treatment options, like chloroquine and malarone, been available and administered early on in the infection. For cerebral malaria, the best treatment is a combination of drugs, or artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs).
Treatment is also critical for the prevention of further cases, as an infected person can put others at-risk of malaria as well. Therefore treatment is essential to not only saving the life of the infected person, but also others in the community.


Malaria is endemic in Haiti, including cerebral malaria, the most deadly form of the disease. Gros Morne, Hinche,Maïssade, Chantal, and Jacmel, one of the areas in which International Medical Corps is working, are among the areas most at-risk. However, cases can be seen throughout Port-au-Prince and rest of the country with the number of cases spiking during the rainy season in May. This is a particular concern this year, as some one million people are displaced as a result of the earthquake on January 12, leaving them more exposed to mosquitos.
International Medical Corps provides malaria testing and treatment throughout its 15 clinic sites in Port-au-Prince, Petit Goave, Jacmel, and Leogane. We also provide care for serious and advanced cases of malaria, including cerebral, through the intensive care unit and emergency room at the University Hospital in downtown Port-au-Prince, where we have been working since January 14.


International Medical Corps is committed to rolling back malaria in the countries where we work through treatment, prevention, and education activities. In this effort, we work with host-country authorities to roll out protocols on malaria and new drug combinations and supply health centers around the world with anti-malarial medicines. International Medical Corps also integrated malaria testing and treatment into our primary health care centers worldwide, providing hundreds of thousands of people with lifesaving interventions for this deadly, but curable disease.
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