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Malaria Day in the Americas

Malaria Day in the Americas

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"Malaria Day in the Americas"

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Malaria Day in the AmericasIn September 2005, the 46th Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) adopted Resolution CD46.R13 which highlighted, among other things, the need to establish policies and operational plans to achieve a reduction of the malaria burden by at least 50% by 2010 and 75% by 2015; and to designate a Malaria Control Day in the Americas on a selected annual date, to recognize past and current efforts to prevent and control malaria, promote awareness, and monitor progress. Similarly, in May 2007, the 60th World Health Assembly passed resolution WHA60.18: “Malaria, including a proposal for establishment of World Malaria Day” which provides, among other things, that: “World Malaria Day shall be commemorated annually on 25 April or on such other day or days as individual members may decide…” Guyana, which has been commemorating a National Malaria Day since 2003, proposed the date for the Americas to be 6 November, which coincides with the day when the presence of malaria parasites in the blood of patients with febrile symptoms was first observed by Charles Louis Alphonse Lavéran in 1880. With these precedents, the 27th Pan American Sanitary Conference held in Washington DC from 1–5 October 2007 resolved that November 6 will henceforth be observed annually as Malaria Day in the Americas. (CSP27.R11)

Currently on its seventh year of commemoration, Malaria Day in the Americas is regarded as an important opportunity and mechanism for countries of the Region to engage various stakeholders in aggressively fighting malaria. In June 2008, the PAHO Executive Committee emphasized the need to build upon the momentum of Malaria Day in the Americas and for peoples of the Region to become strong and involved advocates against the disease.

The Strategy and Plan of Action for Malaria in the Americas 2011 – 2015, approved by the 51st PAHO Directing Council (September 2011), highlights communications and advocacy as among the key issues in malaria that needed increased emphasis in the Region. An important element of these efforts is the commemoration of Malaria Day in the countries of the Americas which campaigns for increased advocacy and commitment among stakeholders and draws communities and the general population into concrete actions that contribute to the achievement of goals and targets in all levels – global, regional, country, and community.

The Region of the Americas continues to pursue its commitment to global targets beyond 2010, including the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), towards the long term objective of stopping local malaria transmission in areas where such is deemed possible. Malaria is among the diseases identified as feasible to be eliminated in a number of countries in the Region by the Pan American Health Organization in “CD49/R19: Elimination of Neglected Diseases and other Poverty-Related Infections”.

Malaria Day in the Americas which will be observed for the seventh time on 6 November 2013 is envisioned to be the platform upon which countries of the Region can engage in a year-round aggressive campaign against the disease. Specifically, Malaria Day in the Americas seeks to attain the following objectives:

  • Improve the communication process and extension of advocacy work to all stakeholders and target audiences.
  • Enhance visibility/interest on Malaria in the Region of Americas and the global scourge that the disease brings to peoples of the world.
  • Increase awareness and understanding of the key issues among target audience/population.
  • Catalyze change of attitudes and modification of behaviors.
  • Generate advocacy/support from the public, policy makers, clients and strategic partners.
  • Encourage increased and enduring support to efforts against malaria, including the elimination of local transmission in areas where such is feasible.

Partners and malaria stakeholders in the Region are encouraged to consider this concept and objectives in the commemoration of Malaria Day in the Americas 2013.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 October 2014 17:41

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