Gambia celebrates World Malaria Day

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Gambia has joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Malaria day on 25th April in the spirit of partnership in international health. The event was held at Kobisala Nursery and Basic cycle school in Sanyang.

Annually, 25 April is a day of unified commemoration of the global effort to provide effective control of malaria around the world. The theme for this year’s commemoration is declaring “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” which heralds international community renewed efforts to assess progress towards reducing malaria deaths and ending malaria for good.

Balla Kandeh, programme manager of National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) said the commonest and most important complications of the infection in children are cerebral malaria, severe anemia, respiratory distress and hypoglycemia, adding that many children who survive an episode of severe malaria may suffer from learning impairments or brain damage.

According to him, malaria used to be the probable cause of 4 percent of infant deaths and 25 percent of deaths in children 1 to 4 years. “Although the economic burden of malaria has not been fully determined, there is no doubt that the disease accounts for considerable loss of productivity among the adult population, absenteeism from schools and workplaces and increased household expenditure on health.”

He said the ministry of Health and Social Welfare through NMCP continues to scale up key malaria interventions for the whole country with support from The Global and other RBM partners. He said Malaria is being fought on all fronts, NMCP and strengthened partnership with non-state actors like WHO, MRC, CRS and local NGOs in the country.

Dr. Samela Jah from the World Health Organization said World Malaria Day is an opportunity to highlight progress and commitments in the global fight to end malaria, adding that since 2000, global efforts have saved 7 million lives from malaria and prevented more than 1 billion cases.

Author: Njie Baldeh