The 25th April 2014, is World Malaria Day. The theme for 2014 and 2015 is 'Invest in the future. Defeat malaria'. This is intended to build on the successes of recent years where, according to the World Health Organisation, around 3.3 million deaths have been prevented since 2000. (World Malaria Day website.)
Malaria incidence has been reduced by 25% globally, and by 31% in Africa. However, there are still more than 200 million cases of malaria each year, with over 600,000 deaths, so commitment to malaria prevention and control continues to be essential.
Advice for Travellers
There is no vaccine available to prevent malaria. However, there are antimalarial tablets which can provide protection. Travellers are advised to seek professional advice from a GP or travel clinic well in advance of travel, ideally at least six weeks before departure. Further advice is available on the country specific pages on fitfortravel and on the general malaria advice page.
All travellers to malarious areas should follow the ABCD of malaria prevention:
- Awareness of risk – know the malaria risk for the country you’re visiting.
- Mosquito Bite prevention – take practical measures to avoid mosquito bites, including bed nets, repellent and insecticide.
- Chemoprophylaxis – take country-specific anti-malarial tablets.
- Diagnosis and treatment - know the signs and symptoms of malaria and the importance of prompt treatment.