World Malaria Day

World Malaria day, which takes place on the 25th April, is an annual, internationally recognised day which emphasises the global efforts to combat malaria, as well as celebrating the improvements made in reducing the spread. 

Over the past two decades, over 7 million lives have been saved from the disease, with the UN estimating that a further 1 billion cases have been prevented. But despite this, more than half of the world are still at risk from a disease that costs a child’s life every two minutes. 

Malaria in Tanzania

Tanzania is among the ten nations with the highest annual malaria cases and deaths in the world. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that roughly 93% of the Tanzanian population live in Malaria transmission areas. 

10-12 million people contract malaria in Tanzania each year, with on average, 80,000 dying. The vast majority of these deaths are children with over one-third of child deaths in the country attributed to malaria. 

World Malaria Day 2021

This year, the WHO and partners will mark World Malaria Day by recognising the countries that are approaching malaria elimination. In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have reported zero indigenous malaria cases, signalling a major step forward in our global fight against the disease. 

Ahead of the 25th April, frontline doctors, nurses and other health professionals will come together in a virtual forum to share their experiences of this past year, and their thoughts on the efforts to reach the zero-malaria target by 2030. 

The goal of reaching the zero malaria target is bound up in the UN sustainable development goals 3 and 4. 


The link between Malaria and Education

In the past two decades, the World Health Organisation have established a clear link between a lack of education and the spread of malaria across the world. 

In 2012, a World Bank report confirmed that as educational attainment/achievement increases, so does people’s likelihood of accessing malaria prevention services e.g.mosquito nets. 

Hence, education and health can have two-way benefits. Children attending schools are a good vehicle for encouraging malaria - safe practices. In addition, malaria can prevent children from taking better advantage of their schooling years.  Indeed, `Malaria No more UK` highlight that up to 50% of preventable school absenteeism in Africa is caused by malaria. 

The impact of EdUKaid’s work

In Tanzania, this figure is over 30%. In the Mtwara region, which has a population of 1.3 million, only 30% of children attend secondary school. 

According to the WHO, the most important step in the fight against malaria is to target school enrolment in rural, poor areas which are more affected by transmission. Children can then learn about the disease, as well as be involved in distribution of protection mechanisms. 

We at EdUKaid have improved school attendance in Mtwara by over 200% at some of our partner schools, with over 18,000 children benefiting from improvements to their education. This increases the awareness of young children to diseases like malaria, enhancing their cognitive ability to learn, and giving them a better chance of succeeding in their lives. 

For example, our primary school improvement programme aims at building these capacities of the local staff and students in making sure improvements are long-lasting. As a result, we have achieved better results in health, academic achievement, and community engagement, bringing children, parents and community members together to enhance their knowledge and awareness.