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Today is World Malaria Day

By Gracie Valena - 25 Apr 2012 9:30:0 GMT
Today is World Malaria Day

World Malaria Day 2012 - Mosquito image via Shutterstock

Today, April 25, is World Malaria Day, and the theme for 2012 is Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria.

According to the World Health Organization, half of the world's population remains at risk for malaria, with about 216 million people contracting the disease and about 655,000 dying from it each year. These numbers despite the fact that malaria can be prevented and treated.

The purpose of World Malaria Day is to make people aware that the disease is both preventable and treatable, and to urge communities all over the world to take action.

WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo, speaking in Ha Noi, Vietnam yesterday, said, "National malaria programmes need to ensure widespread population access to life-saving and cost-effective interventions."

He added, explaining this year's theme, "It is crucial that efforts are sustained and expanded and that there be more national and international political commitment, resources and support for ongoing research and development for new and better tools to combat emerging threats, such as drug and insecticide resistance."

An example of an inexpensive and simple solution against malaria is the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets. Use of these notes has resulted in some cases in as much as 50 percent reduction of cases and 20 percent less child deaths due to malaria.

If you would like to find out more about actions being taken by groups all over the world to beat malaria, you can check the World Malaria Day website, through which civil society groups are able to share their work and disseminate their messages on malaria treatment and prevention. You can also share your own story there.

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