Mozambique needs $100m annually to fight malaria

Friday June 29 2018

An anopheles mosquito.

An anopheles mosquito. The female anopheles mosquitoes are responsible for malaria transmission. PHOTO | FILE 

By ARNALDO VIEIRA
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Mozambique needs $100 million every year to effectively fight malaria, a health official said Thursday.

Mr Baltazar Candrinho, the Ministry of Health’s director of Malaria Control, said the money would be put in prevention programmes.

He was speaking during the National Malaria Forum in the capital Maputo on Thursday.

He said at least two to three people die of the mosquito-borne disease every day in the country.

Last year, malaria killed 1,114 people with nine million cases recorded.

Mozambique targets to reduce the number of malaria cases and deaths by 40 per cent by the year 2022.

The country of some 24 million people is among the poorest in the world with a majority living on less than $1 a day.

According to the World Health Organisation, Africa accounts for 91 per cent of global malaria cases and 93 per cent of malaria-related deaths.

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MALARIA FACTS

● Cause

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable.

P. falciparum is the most prevalent malaria parasite on the African continent. It is responsible for most malaria-related deaths globally.

● Transmission

Transmission depends on climatic conditions that may affect the number and survival of mosquitoes, such as rainfall patterns, temperature and humidity.

In many places, transmission is seasonal, with the peak during and just after the rainy season.

Malaria epidemics can occur when climate and other conditions suddenly favour transmission in areas where people have little or no immunity to malaria.

They can also occur when people with low immunity move into areas with intense malaria transmission.

● Symptoms

In a non-immune individual, symptoms usually appear 10–15 days after the infective mosquito bite.

The first symptoms – fever, headache, and chills– may be mild and difficult to recognise as malaria.

If not treated within 24 hours, P. falciparum malaria can progress to severe illness, often leading to death.

Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria.

In adults, multi-organ involvement is also frequent. In malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur.

● Who is at risk?

Some population groups are at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria, and developing severe disease, than others. These include infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants, mobile populations and travellers.

● Prevention

- Use insecticide-treated mosquito nets

- Indoor residual spraying with insecticides

- Antimalarial medicines

- Vaccines against malaria

(Source: World Health Organisation)