The theme for World Malaria Day 2021 ‘Reaching the zero malaria target‘
Key facts from the World Health Organisation
- Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable.
- In 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide.
- The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 409 000 in 2019.
- Children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria; in 2019, they accounted for 67% (274 000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.
- The WHO African Region carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2019, the region was home to 94% of malaria cases and deaths.
The Butterfly Tree is committed to helping the global fight against malaria and reducing the number of malaria cases in Zambia. Working with the Ministry of Health we are targeting areas that have a high prevalence of malaria.
COVID-19 has taken precedence other major diseases like malaria, but they must not be neglected. Unlike COVID-19 children are more susceptible to die from malaria than adults. Our ‘mosquito nets for schools‘ project is having an impact, whereby every child and their teachers are given a mosquito nets and monitoring and evaluation takes place. We have proved that this method is highly effective. In the past twelve months the following schools received 2,000 mosquito nets – Bunsanga, Malimba, Kamwi and Ndele and most recently, thanks to a substantial donation from Nick Bousliman, Singwamba and Chuunga.
As a result of the tremendous support we are receiving from the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain, this week a distribution of insecticidal coating and larviciding took place in remote areas of Moomba Chiefdom. Sibeso Maseka, one of our Zambian volunteers, who is an Environmental Health Technician, supervised a team who travelled some 300 km to provide protection in 650 dwellings. When they arrived, they found many people suffering from malaria, with 20 new cases being recorded per day.
Each home was painted with a safe insecticidal coating which is harmless to humans and animals. The mosquito, once it ingests the insecticide, will quickly fly off and die. The paint is effective immediately it dries and lasts for over 12 months. Normal practises are to use a harmful indoor residual spraying which is effective for only 3 months.
In partnership with the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs we have been working with Medical Aid Films who have produced a wonderful animated film on ‘How to Prevent Malaria‘. The Butterfly Tree had the script translated into Tokaleya, the local language used in the area of our work, for the film company and then we handed it over to the Kazungula Ministry of Health. This is now being used in clinics, throughout the District, as one of the main training resources.
A mosquito net costs just £6 or $9 and could save a child’s life. If you would like to make a donation please click on this link.