Pakistan on the risk of facing another health emergency as 177 million people in the country are on the brink of falling prey to malaria. During the typically unstable and major transmission period is post monsoon from August to November, 3.5 million people reach out for medical help with confirmed cases of malaria.
The statistics were released by the health experts at World Malaria Day held at Khyber Medical College during an event highlighting the significance of investment and political commitment towards the cause of malaria prevention and control.
The event was organized on the occasion of World Malaria Day 2019 to reflect on the prevalence and the steps being taken to address the ongoing health crisis. The theme for this year was “Zero malaria starts with me” – aiming to cast a glimmer of hope and emphasis on our own as a community as well as steps on the national level for prevention.
As per the September 2018 study published in Annals of Reviews and Research, the prevalence rate of malaria for the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stands at an alarming 13.81%. It was further noticed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the most malaria-affected province of Pakstan. The figures for the other three provinces stand at: Punjab (2.4%), Sindh (10.8%) and Baluchistan (3.8%).
Known physician Prof Dr Muhammad Hamayun said that prevention is a crucial element in malaria control in endemic countries.
” It is achieved through vector control, personal protection measures such as insecticide-treated bed nets, preventive treatment with anti-malarial drugs of vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, who receive intermittent preventive treatment.” – he said, as a local media source reports.
Nearly half of the world’s population is at the risk of malaria transmission in 91 countries and territories. Malaria caused 216 million clinical episodes in the year 2016 and was the cause of 445,000 deaths.
~ The story originally published in Express Tribune.
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