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What is Malaria?

Words by Cheyanne Bryan

Today is World Malaria Day, a day to spread awareness about a disease that still affects people globally and ravages communities with sickness, and even death. Controlling the disease remains a top priority and The World Health Organisation has reported a slight stagnation in progress.  

But how much do you actually know about the disease? Read on and learn more. 

What is malaria?

Caused by a parasite and transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite, Malaria can be life-threatening. The parasite has various different species which can cause different variations in the disease. Symptoms are typically displayed as a fever and flu-like but can increase in severity and lead to organ failure and death. 

Preventing infections seem relatively straightforward with insect repellent and mosquito nets being the easiest ways, in spite of that getting resources to low-income communities or civilisations that are less accessible takes a lot of time, money and resources. Many organisations are working to deliver supplies and provide aid to equip neighbourhoods with eliminating the spread of infection.

Antimalarial medication has dual use as it can be used to prevent infection as well as treat those who have already been infected. This method is highly recommended if travelling to high-risk areas but is more expensive than other approaches.

Tell me more.

Well, despite being a threat to billions of people - yes billions, (malaria poses an approximate threat to 3.3 billion people globally) it is curable. Many of those at risk are based in Asia, Africa and South America and the increasing climate concerns will only make global efforts to eradicate the disease harder. 

Supporting international aid organisations that are working with the communities affected to suppress and eradicate malaria will heavily reduce the global burden and save lives. Since June 2023, The Global Fund has invested over $17 billion into malaria control programs. 

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Against Malaria Foundation (AMF). This charity fights to end Malaria-caused deaths and illnesses by equipping low-income communities with treated mosquito nets. Learn more here.

Malaria No More UK. This is a charity on a mission to end Malaria in a generation through inspiring partnerships and advocating for change. Find out more here.

Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF). This is an international humanitarian organisation that provides medical care to more than 70 different countries. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health And Wellbeing. 

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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