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World Malaria Report 2019 By WHO Focuses On Mothers And Infants

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According to the 2019 World Malaria Report by the World Health Organization (WHO), pregnant women and children are affected by the disease in Indian and African regions. This can lead to loss of life of expecting mothers as well as babies.

World Malaria Report 2019

The World Malaria Report by WHO puts the focus on the group that is at highest risk of malaria. The report also highlights the effects of the disease on women and children. Maternal and child health were affected disproportionately. According to WHO statistics, children under five accounted for 67 percent of all malaria deaths worldwide. Young infants are the most vulnerable group when it comes to malaria.

India still carries a huge burden of the disease, according to the malaria report.  The report states that “the burden in 2018 was similar to that of 2017 in all other countries, apart from in Uganda and India, where there were reported reductions of 1.5 and 2.6 million malaria cases, respectively, in 2018 compared with 2017.

The report also focuses on growing anaemia in children, and explores its link with malaria. Between 2015 and 2018 in 21 moderate to high malaria burden countries in the WHO African Region, the prevalence of anaemia in children under five years with a positive rapid diagnostic test (RDT) was double that of children with a negative RDT. Senegal, Mali and Guinea had the highest percentage of severe anaemia among children aged under 5 years who were positive for malaria. Overall, about 24 million children were estimated to be infected with P. falciparum in 2018 in sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 1.8 million of them were likely to have severe anaemia.

Also Read: India Ranks 170th For Anaemia In Women 

However, children did not receive proper care. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali, more than 40 percent of children were not brought for care. Testing was also extremely low in children who were brought for care. 30 percent or less children were tested in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

Women And Mothers

The report also highlighted the statistics when it came to women, especially expecting mothers. In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria affected 11 million pregnant women. This not only increased their own risk of illness, anemia, and death, but also interfered with the growth of their unborn children.

The 11 million pregnant women exposed to malaria infections in 2019 delivered about 872,000 children. These children were born with low birthweight (16 percent of all children with low birthweight in these countries). West Africa had the highest number of low birthweight children due to malaria in pregnancy.

The report also highlights the effects of the disease on women and children. Maternal and child health were affected disproportionately.

Also Read: Survey Shows Dismal Condition Of Pregnant Women In Rural India 

India still carries a huge burden of the disease, according to the malaria report.  The report states that “the burden in 2018 was similar to that of 2017 in all other countries, apart from in Uganda and India, where there were reported reductions of 1.5 and 2.6 million malaria cases, respectively, in 2018 compared with 2017. But nearly 85 percent of global malaria deaths in 2018 were concentrated in 20 countries in the WHO African Region and India.” Although there were lesser malaria cases, India still has a long way to go.

Picture Credit: Devex

Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV

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