For the last few years, the world has been on the edge of its seat watching the promising progress of polio eradication vaccination campaigns. A strong indicator of this progress is that no polio cases have been detected in India for a year, where malaria has historically been highly endemic. Every year, April 25 is celebrated as World Malaria Day, and those working tirelessly to end malaria hold to the hope that it will be the next disease marked with inevitable momentum towards eradication, like polio. In addition to other prevention and treatment interventions, researchers are currently working to develop an anti-malarial vaccine, which would provide an additional, crucial tool for effectively interrupting the cycle of transmission worldwide.
Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites which are spread to humans by mosquitoes, causing disability and death. According to The World Health Organization, malaria disproportionately affects children living in Africa, where, “a child dies every minute from malaria.” Malaria is also a contributing factor in maternal mortality, so eradication of the disease is an important step in reaching Millenium Development Goals 4 & 5.
- To learn more about malaria, including the global distribution by geography and demographics, and organizations working to eradicate it, check out the Taubman Health Science Library’s Information Empowerment: MALARIA research guide.
- To learn how YOU can help fight malaria and contribute to prevention and treatment initiatives, visit: http://www.rollbackmalaria.org/worldmalariaday/act.html.
Global Health Library Assistant, Taubman Health Sciences Library