Qatar yesterday marked the World Malaria Day (WMD) under the theme: “To achieve progress and impact”.
WMD, which falls on April 25 each year, represents an occasion for the recognition of the efforts being made at the global level to fight against malaria.
It was also an opportunity for the affected countries and regions to draw some useful lessons from other countries’ experiences.
Speaking about the day, Supreme Council of Health Public Health department director Dr Mohamed al-Thani pointed to the dangers posed by malaria which he said was threatening about half the world population.
“This requires all necessary efforts to face it, especially that nearly 30,000 international travellers fall sick with malaria,” he said adding that Qatar was not a malaria endemic country, and that all cases reported here were from abroad.
Health Protection and Communicable Diseases Control department manager Dr Mohamed al-Hajri urged travellers to malaria endemic areas (including some African, Asian and Latin American countries) to take necessary prevention medicines from the Vaccination Unit at Meseimeer Medical Centre.
He advised them to take the medicines at least four weeks before the date of their departure.
Travellers should come to the clinic with all necessary information like their destination, duration of trip and place of residence, he said.
Dr al-Hajri mentioned that the international organisations and agencies will this year submit a report showing the progress achieved to save millions of lives through the appropriate and effective intervention to curb malaria.
According to the World Health Organisation, the world is witnessing 250mn malaria cases and up to one million deaths.
Malaria exists in more than 100 countries worldwide, especially in Africa, East Asia, and Central and South America.
Caused by a parasite called plasmodium and transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes, malaria parasites spread quickly into the liver and then the red corpuscles, leading to rising temperature, headache, sickness and shiver.
If malaria is not treated quickly it can lead to serious complications and the parasite causing malaria has shown increasing resistance to some of the anti-malaria medicines.
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