Over the past two decades, the world has made tremendous progress in the fight against malaria. Preventing over 1 billion malaria cases and saving more than 7 million lives, malaria had been under control for the past few years. However, for as long as malaria exists, it continues to be a threat for the poor and vulnerable, and has the potential to relapse in the times of public health crises, like the Coronavirus pandemic, that the world is currently facing.
Every year, April 25 is celebrated as the World Malaria Day. The day highlights the need to continue investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control. The theme for World Malaria Day 2020 is ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’. The movement is dedicated to driving action and making changes that start with YOU. Read ahead to know more-
On World Malaria Day 2020, the World Health Organization joins the RBM partnership in promoting ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’, in order to end malaria. It is a campaign that aims at keeping malaria high on the political agenda, mobilizing additional resources, and empowering communities in taking ownership of malaria prevention and care. It is a known fact that through collective action and country leadership, a radical reduction in suffering and death from malaria can take place.
Between the years 2000 and 2014, the number of malaria-related deaths fell by 40 per cent worldwide. However, the progress has ground to a standstill in recent years. According to WHO's World Malaria Report 2019, nearly a billion people died from malaria in 2018, as there were no global gains in reducing new infections over the period 2014 to 2018. Urgent action is needed to get back on track, and ownership of the challenge lies in the hands of countries most affected by malaria. The ‘Zero Malaria Starts with Me’ campaign engages all members of society, including private sector companies that will benefit from a malaria-free workforce, political leaders who control government policy decisions and budgets, and especially communities affected by malaria, whose buy-in and ownership of malaria control interventions is critical to success.