(Feature) 20 things you need to know about malaria

April 22, 2015 9:33 am 

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, April 20 (PNA) — As the World Malaria Day 2015 is observed on Saturday, April 25, the Philippines News Agency has complied 20 things you need to know about the deadly disease. These are:

1. Malaria, like dengue, is a mosquito-borne infectious disease. Aedes aegypti mosquito causes dengue, while malaria is usually transmitted by a female Anopheles mosquito.

2. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headache. In severe cases, patients may suffer from seizures and coma. Symptoms are usually seen 10-15 days after the patient is bitten.

3. A person may be asymptomatic, meaning he or she does not show any signs or symptoms of the disease. This is a challenge as the patient might travel and spread the disease.

4. It is a serious and sometimes fatal disease. Patients who surpassed an infection, meanwhile, may suffer from re-infection but with milder symptoms.

5. Key modes of prevention include the use of mosquito nets, repellents, vector control and insecticide.

6. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) No. 6 of the United Nations is about halting and reversing malaria situation by 2015.

7. The Department of Health’s Infectious Diseases Office (IDO) is in-charge of giving away commodities, vector control. The IDO also trains local officials and helps communities. Some of the activities they offer include (advocacy) film showing and blood screening.

8. The IDO is also in-charge of developing policies, rules, regulations, as well as guidelines to control malaria in the country.

9. In the Philippines, a province can be declared malaria-free when there’s no indigenous case reported for the last five years. The IDO is in-charge of validating reported cases in hospitals.

10. Among the provinces that were declared malaria-free by the DOH as of last year include: Cavite, Batangas, Marinduque, Catanduanes, Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor, Western Samar, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Northern Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, Benguet, Camiguin, Surigao Del Norte, Batanes and Dinagat Islands.

11. In 2005, the DOH recorded the highest morbidity rate of 55 per 100,000 population. Most of these cases were from the Visayan region.

12. Local government units, various NGOs and the Global Fund are active partners of the DOH in combating malaria.

13. To avoid the resurgence of malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) noted the need for effective malaria surveillance.

14. A funded priority research is also a key to save lives from malaria, the WHO said.

15. One of the biggest challenges that the world experiences in combating malaria is drug resistance.

16. The WHO calls for a heightened commitment from the government, partners and stakeholders in fighting malaria and achieve the targets set.

17. During the 60th Session of the World Health Assembly in 2007, the World Malaria Day was established. It is commemorated every April 25 to provide awareness and understanding of the disease, as well as recognize global efforts to control it.

18. The 2013-2015 theme for World Malaria Day is “Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria.” More funds are needed to make treatment available to the people as well as to fight drug resistance.

19. There is a notable decline in malaria incidence and deaths since 2000. However, the WHO stated that more than 500,000 lives are still lost each year.

20. The WHO is issuing an updated malaria treatment guidelines. Moreover, its new strategy targets to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 90 percent by 2030. (PNA)



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