By Phillipa Jaja
THE 20th China medical team in Zimbabwe is carrying out activities to raise public awareness of malaria prevention and control following the the recent outburst of malaria in Zimbabwe.
Malaria remains a public health threat in Zimbabwe, with more than half the population at risk of contracting malaria annually.
Chinese medical teams have thus popularized the knowledge of malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment and shown that preventing the spread of malaria is the most important treatment.
A twitter video by the team advocates for global cooperation to control malaria.
“It is estimated 619 000 people died from Malaria world-wide in 2021 with 95 % and 96% deaths occurring in Africa and approximately 80% deaths in region with children under the age of five.
Therefore coordinated global cooperation is needed to truly control the spread of Malaria.
This includes strengthening the development of malaria vaccines, conducting malaria prevention education, improving medical and healthy ascendency and improving living conditions.”
It also outlines the various stages of the malaria cycle from prevention to treatment.
“Malaria is an infectious disease caused by the malaria parasite and mainly transmitted by mosquito bites. The best way to prevent the spread of malaria is through prevention.
Prevention includes avoiding mosquito bites, installing mosquito repellent devices, staying away from areas with high malaria incidences and vaccinating against malaria.
“Diagnosis of malaria mainly uses blood tests and symptom checks. Treatment of malaria is by using drugs such as quinine, and mefloquine.”
Malaria kills about 620,000 people each year, most of them young children.
Africa is making strides towards malaria eradication with Ghana being the first country to approve a new malaria vaccine that has been described as a “world-changer” by the scientists who developed it.
The vaccine – called R21 – appears to be hugely effective, in stark contrast to previous ventures in the same field.
Ghana’s drug regulators have assessed the final trial data on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, which is not yet public, and have decided to use it.
The World Health Organisation is also considering approving the vaccine.