World Malaria Day is observed on April 25 every year to recognise the global effort to control malaria and also to spread awareness about the around the world. The theme for this year’s Malaria Day is ‘Ready to beat Malaria’ and emphasises the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community that is uniting all around the world to curb the disease and working towards the common goal to making the world malaria free. Moreover, the theme brings forward not only the progress achieved in the past years but also to call out the worrying trends that have been noted. As per the World Malaria Report that was released in November 2017, there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016 whereas in 2015 211 million cases were reported.
The disease is caused by the Plasmodium parasites, which is spread to people through the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito, also known as malaria vectors. While there are a total of five parasite species that cause malaria in humans, two of those — P falciparum and P vivax — pose the greatest threat.
It was in May 2007 that the 60th session of the World Health Assembly decided to establish the World Malaria Day. This was done to provide education and understanding of the disease and also to spread information on the implementation of national-malaria-control strategies, which also included community-based activities for the prevention of malaria and also treatment in the endemic areas.
According to the 2017 World Malaria Report, the present global response to the disease is at a fix. The report states that after an exceptional success in the past years, the progress in malaria control around the world has stalled. Moreover, the present pace of progress is insufficient to achieve the 2020 milestones of the WHO Global Technical Strategy for Malaria, where the targets call for a 40 percent reduction in malaria case incidence and death rates.