World Malaria Day will be celebrated on April 25, 2015. On this day the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on the global health community to address major gaps in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria.
Malaria is a preventable disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. These mosquitoes carry a parasite called Plasmodium. Symptoms include fever, headache, and vomiting which appear 10 to 15 days after contraction. If left untreated, malaria can disrupt the blood supply to vital organs and result in death.
WHO reports that each year, despite dramatic declines in cases and deaths since 2000, malaria kills more than half a million people, mainly children. The island of Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, remains the only island in the Caribbean with active malaria transmission.
Haiti has the western hemisphere's highest mortality rate for infants under five. Among this age demographic of children, malaria is one of the leading causes of death, along with tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, respiratory diseases and diarrhea.
Each year, ICC Haiti’s clinics and Grace Children’s Hospital receives thousands of children who are suffering from diseases like malaria, as well as tuberculosis and HIV. Because no commercially available malaria vaccine yet exists, ICC Haiti combats the disease through the diagnosis and treatment of infected adults and children.
WHO's theme for 2014 and 2015 malaria awareness is: “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.” Because of global efforts from organizations like ICC and kind financial support from donors like you, malaria mortality rates have been reduced in Haiti. Globally, deaths from malaria have decreased by 42%.
You can help ICC defeat malaria in Haiti by becoming educated on the importance of malaria prevention and treatment, and by financially supporting ICC’s efforts. ICC will continue to diagnose and treat malaria until it no longer threatens the lives of children and their families. Your generous contributions will help treat those currently affected by the disease, and help those who may become infected in the future.