World Malaria Day 2015

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Press Release Date: 22nd April 2015

World Malaria Day takes place on Saturday April 25th 2015.

For half the world every day is malaria day – a day to keep up the fight against this killer disease, with almost 200 million cases reported globally.

In 2014, 97 countries had on-going malaria transmission and while 55 countries are on track to reduce their malaria case incidence rates by 75%, these countries only account for 4% (8 million) of the total estimated malaria cases.

Malaria-endemic countries have made incredible gains in malaria in the last decade, but sustaining them will take extra efforts until the job is finished and malaria is eliminated worldwide. 

Unless the world can find a way to bridge the funding gaps and endemic countries have the resources and technical support they need to implement sound malaria control plans, malaria resurgence will likely take many more lives.

Dr Graham Fry, Medical Director of Tropical Medical Bureau, said, “It is very important to raise awareness of the dangers of Malaria. In 2013 there was an estimated 200 million cases with at least 600,000 deaths. It is a very serious problem. At this moment in time there is no suitable vaccine available because the parasite stays within the cells and therefore it is very difficult to get an antibody at it.”

He warns that it is not just something which affects those venturing to exotic destinations, “Malaria is a disease which can affect any traveller and it is not just found on safari and backpacking holidays, but also in some of the major cities to which business travellers may be exposed.”

Tropical Medical Bureau have this advice for people intending to travel and who may be in danger of contracting the disease:

  • Measures to prevent mosquito bites should be taken. The main risk is usually early mornings and also in the evenings. These measures include using insect repellent when outdoors and staying in an air-conditioned or well-screened area and sleeping under an insecticide treated bed net during the peak biting period for mosquitoes (dusk and dawn).
  • Be well advised before you travel. Knowledge is very important. Before you travel book an appointment with Tropical Medical Bureau to discuss what you may be at risk of contracting in your chosen destination.
  • Vaccines against other diseases are also vital. It is essential to have the correct vaccines before you travel to ensure you are protected against a number of diseases.
  • Follow up upon your return. Tropical Medical Bureau has a 24/7 emergency support service for registered patients and also offers a check-up upon your return, in case you are suffering from symptoms related to any of the diseases that you may have been exposed to.
  • Do not assume that you will be safe without taking the necessary precautions. You do not have to be travelling to an exotic location to be exposed to malaria. Hot destinations in general could harbour the disease and leave you or your family exposed.

Dr Fry provides one last piece of advice for Irish travellers, “If you are feeling ill upon your return, please ensure that you make an immediate appointment. The malaria tablets we have nowadays are excellent but they still do not provide 100% cover against this serious disease. All travellers returning from an at-risk region of the world should be aware that any flu-like symptoms in the weeks or months following their trip should be investigated for possible malaria.”

Show your support for World Malaria Day. Visit www.defeatmalaria.org.

 

For further information on vaccinations or to book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie

 

 

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