SADC Malaria Week

The 2nd – 6th November marks the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Week!


The month of November is the malaria transmission season in the SADC region. Therefore, commemoration of SADC Malaria Week joined by SADC Malaria Day takes place in November every year to coincide with this season. The aim is to raise awareness and promote partnerships in the fight against this vector borne disease.


Did you know that according to the World Health Organisation, about 63 percent of people in the Southern African region are living in areas that are affected by malaria, with pregnant women and children under the age of five being at greater risk?


Malaria is a critical disease in Africa as it is one of the number one killers and causes of poverty in the region. For instance, according to the World Bank2, combating Malaria reduces GDP growth by approximately 1.3% per year in some African countries and, this could even be more if we factor in the loss to productivity as a result of illness!


The sub-Saharan Africa regions, has seen a significant increase in intervention initiatives in recent years. In fact, according to the 2014 World Malaria Reports the number of infections across Africa decreased by 26%, from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013. Despite increased initiatives, however, the challenge is that there continues to be major gaps in intervention coverage!


The aim of SADC Malaria week is to raise awareness and promote partnerships in the fight against the disease! At Bayer, we are committed to bringing malaria down to more manageable levels throughout Africa, and believe in using science to improve the lives of people.  In addition, we are actively working to foster our ongoing partnerships with the Malaria Consortium, USAID, WHO and various Health Ministries.


Malaria is deadly, but it doesn’t have to be! And therefore, the commemoration of SADC Malaria Day aims to create awareness about malaria and mobilise the community to participate in the malaria control programmes.


The fight against malaria can be reached if the community is mobilised through health education to:

 

  • Recognise signs and symptoms of malaria
  • Seek treatment when they become ill
  • Use personal protective measures

 

If malaria is not treated within 24-hours of the first symptoms, it can progress to severe illness. This is why prevention – or at the very least, early diagnosis and treatment – is so important.