What is World Malaria Day?
April 25 - World Malaria Day - is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world. Established and approved at the 60th World Health Assembly (WHA) in March 2007, the purpose of the day is to raise awareness of malaria as a disease that is preventable and treatable and to mobilize communities across the world to get involved in the fight against it. (See Millennium Development Goal #6.)
World Malaria Day represents a chance for all of us to make a difference. Whether you are a member of a faith community or just interested in advancing the issue of malaria prevention, you can be part of the solution!
Reducing the impact of malaria would significantly propel efforts to achieve the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. These include not only the goal of combating the disease itself, but also goals related to women's and children's rights and health, access to education and the reduction of extreme poverty.
What is the History of NetsforLife®?
Photo courtesy of Harvey Wang for Episcopal Relief & DevelopmentIn 2005, a group of Episcopal Church members visited a remote community located quite literally "at the end of the road" in eastern Zambia. They found people suffering and dying from malaria because they had no understanding of malaria prevention and no access to nets and effective treatment.
Realizing these communities were beyond the reach of the national health system, the group was inspired by the idea of using the church to teach malaria prevention and deliver nets in the isolated communities it served. The plan quickly took shape. With the help of Episcopal Relief & Development, the NetsforLife® collaborative partnership was born.
How does NetsforLife® Help?
In partnership with corporations, foundations, NGOs and faith-based organizations, NetsforLife® implements integrated malaria-prevention programs in 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. NetsforLife® accesses remote communities - those typically unreached by national health programs - by utilizing a vibrant network of local churches, faith-based groups and non-government organizations.
Since 2008, NetsforLife® has delivered over 6 million nets across 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa resulting in less sickness, fewer deaths and stronger communities. NetsforLife® combats malaria by training community agents to deliver life-saving nets, educating community members about proper net use and maintenance, and providing on-going monitoring and evaluation of net use. To date, over 18 million people have benefited.
Here's More Information on World Malaria Day
World Malaria Day gives people the chance to promote or learn about the efforts made to prevent and reduce Malaria around the world. It is observed on April 25 each year.
What do people do?
Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the United Nations’ (UN) directing and coordinating authority for health, actively play a role in promoting and supporting World Malaria Day. The activities and events that take place on or around World Malaria Day are often joint efforts between governments, non-government organizations, communities and individuals. Countries that have been involved in actively participating in World Malaria Day include (but are not exclusive to):
- United States.
©iStockphoto.com/MantonatureMany people, as well as commercial businesses and not-for-profit organizations, will use the day as an opportunity to donate money towards key malaria interventions. Many fundraising events are held to support the prevention, treatment and control of malaria. Some people may also use the observance to write letters or petitions to political leaders, calling for greater support towards protecting and treating people who are at risk of malaria. Many newspapers, websites, and magazines, as well as television and radio stations, may use World Malaria Day as the chance to promote or publicize awareness campaigns about malaria.
World Malaria Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. About half of the worlds’ population is at risk of malaria, particularly those in lower-income countries. It infects more than 500 million people each year and kills more than one million people, according to WHO. However, Malaria is preventable and curable.
The World Health Assembly instituted World Malaria Day in May 2008. The purpose of the event is to give countries in affected regions the chance to learn from each other’s experiences and support one another’s efforts. World Malaria Day also enables new donors to join in a global partnership against malaria, and for research and academic institutions to reveal scientific advances to the public. The day also gives international partners, companies and foundations a chance to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has worked.