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UN to host ‘World Malaria Day 2021’


UN to host ‘World Malaria Day 2021’

UN World Malaria Day
Photo: Medical News Today

Today is World Malaria Day, which celebrates the global progress in stopping the spread of malaria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched the E-2025 Initiative, a program to stop the transmission of malaria across 25 countries–including Guatemala, South Africa and the DPRK–by 2025. Following the success of the E-2020 Initiative, E-2025 countries will have access to experts that can help them find sustainable funding streams and develop public health infrastructure.

The success of this initiative may be impacted by the ongoing battle with COVID-19 in the short-term. In many malaria-endemic countries, hospitals are already overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. As countries implemented lockdowns, developing economies contracted and supply chains for malaria prevention equipment, such as mosquito nets, diagnostic tests and medicines were disrupted, leading to shortages and shipping delays. Long-term, a new Oxford-AstraZeneca malaria vaccine could help countries stop the transmission of malaria. However, the vaccine will only treat malaria while total elimination relies on a countries’ ability to prevent spread and quickly detect cases. If E-2025 countries continue to experience medical supply shortages and economic challenges, malaria elimination will remain an elusive target.

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