Beware of the spread of malaria in society

With the scattered rains falling across various parts of Myanmar at the beginning of the second decade in May 2024, while providing relief from the summer heat, they have left behind wet and muddy environments, perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.


Mosquitoes, regardless of the species, pose significant risks to human society, often causing outbreaks of diseases. It is essential for everyone to be cautious of mosquito-borne diseases, among which malaria is one of the most prevalent. Malaria is currently a significant health concern not only in Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, but also in many other parts of the world. Annually, malaria claims the lives of over 600,000 people across more than 100 countries.


The ongoing global warming and climate change are likely to expand the areas affected by malaria. The World Health Or­ganization (WHO) estimates that between 2030 and 2050, around 60,000 individuals may lose their lives due to spreading malaria disease. All global countries are making strenuous efforts to eliminate malaria by 2050, but they face numerous challenges, includ­ing financial constraints and other obstacles.


According to WHO re­ports, in 2022, approximately 249 million individuals were afflicted with malaria, he age of five. While 43 countries have been declared malaria-free, millions of people in several countries still face the threat of malaria infection.


Climate change, popula­tion movements, the emer­gence of drug-resistant malar­ia strains, the proliferation of counterfeit and substandard malaria drugs, and changes in mosquito behaviour car­rying the malaria virus pose significant challenges to global malaria control efforts. The approval of the first-ever malaria vaccine by WHO in 2021 marked a significant milestone in the fight against malaria. The vaccine requires four doses to be administered to each patient, ensuring a reduction of the risk of malaria outbreaks by 30 per cent.


In Myanmar, Malaria is one of the major diseases that can have significant social and economic impacts, leading to decreased productivity. Therefore, it is essential for not only relevant depart­ments of the government but also individuals to participate actively in efforts to combat malaria. This includes maintaining clean envi­ronments to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and following the guidelines for disease prevention issued by the Ministry of Health, thereby improving overall health conditions and reducing the risk of malaria infection in society.