World Malaria Day- A Push For Prevention

World Malaria Day - a push for prevention

World Malaria Day is today April 25th 2017! This year’s theme of “A Push For Prevention” is particularly fitting given the recent announcement by the World Health Organization of plans to implement wider scale testing of a new malaria vaccine. In 2018. Three countries in Africa – Ghana, Kenya and Malawi – have been selected to participate in this first set of pilot programs. The promise this vaccine holds for a future of malaria eradication is quite exciting, as malaria remains a leading cause of death in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the WHO, there were over 200 million new cases of malaria and 429,000 deaths in 2015. Currently 91 countries in the world have ongoing malaria transmission, and one child dies from malaria every two minutes. Yes, you read that right: EVERY TWO MINUTES! If this is not the time for #apushforprevention, I don’t know when is.

5 lesser known facts about malaria

There are numerous preventive strategies by which to combat Malaria, one of which – the use of insecticide treated indoor nets – has contributed to a 69% decrease in malaria cases since 2010. This explains why the WHO currently recommends that all adults and children at risk of malaria sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets at night. For persons living in high risk areas, an additional recommendation is to spray the walls of their homes with a dilute solution of insecticide. Studies conducted to asses the safety of indoor spraying with agents such as DDT (the most effective of 12 insecticides approved by the WHO) have shown that it presents no health risks when used properly. Of note though, indoor insecticide spraying is suitable only in certain dwellings – those made with porous materials such as mud or wood, and not in Western-style city dwellings with walls that have been plastered or painted.

As I mentioned above though, there’s another promising preventive strategy on the horizon….the malaria vaccine Mosquirix.

World Malaria Day- a push for preventionMosquirix was designed by GlaxoSmithKline to prevent Plasmodium falciparum malaria in children in sub-Saharan Africa, and it is intended to work as a complementary tool to other malaria control interventions. It serves as both the world’s first licensed malaria vaccine, and also the first vaccine ever licensed for use against a parasitic disease. Of all the potential malaria vaccines studied since the 1960s, Mosquirix has shown the most promise. The anticipated success of the pilot programs kicking off next year could relegate malaria as an infection of years past.

So join public health enthusiasts, global health workers, doctors, parents and galvanized citizens worldwide on April 25th 2017 as we discuss and promote ways to end malaria for good. To learn more, take a 3 minute malaria prevention knowledge test created by the WHO: it can be found at here.

For questions or consultations, do contact me at Brookside Medical Practice (01-4605164) or Center for Advanced Specialty Surgery (0703-122-7100).


Keeping you healthy,

Dr. Sade Adeyi, MD MPH

Instagram and Twitter: @yourprimarydoc


*Data culled from World Health Organization’s page on World Malaria Day ( and South Africa’s War against Malaria Lessons for the Developing World, Richard Tren and Roger Bate, Cato Institute.
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