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April 25, 2010

Preventions of Malaria

Malaria is a preventable & treatable disease but sadly it kills around a million people globally. The third World Malaria Day is set to fulfill the goals set by the ongoing Roll Back Malaria Partnership campaign 'Counting Malaria Out', which aims to intensify global efforts to reach important milestones set by the Global Malaria Action Plan (GMAP).
Preventions of MalariaPrevention of malaria aims at either:
  • preventing infection, by avoiding bites by parasite-carrying mosquitoes, or
  • preventing the disease, by using anti-malarial drugs. The drugs do not prevent initial infection through a mosquito bite, but they prevent the development of malaria parasites in the blood, which are the forms that cause disease. This type of prevention is also called suppression.
Prevention is an important component of malaria control in endemic countries. It can be achieved through:
  • vector control
  • personal protection measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets.
  • preventive treatment with anti-malarial drugs of vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, who receive intermittent preventive treatment.
The goal of malaria control in malaria-endemic countries is to reduce as much as possible the health impact of malaria on a population, using the resources available, & taking into account other health priorities. Malaria control does not aim to eliminate malaria totally. Complete elimination of the malaria parasite (& thus the disease) would constitute eradication. While eradication is more desirable, it is not currently a realistic goal for most of the countries where malaria is endemic.
The main activities necessary for carrying out malaria control interventions are:
  • Health education where the masses are informed of what they can do to prevent & treat malaria.
  • Training & supervision of health workers, to ensure that they carry out their tasks correctly.
  • Provision of equipment & supplies (e.g., microscopes, drugs, bed nets) to allow the health workers & the communities to carry out the interventions.

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