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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Key Facts to Know About Malaria

<p>​Malaria is a life-threatening, yet preventable and curable disease caused by the bites of certain types of infected mosquitoes. It continues to be an urgent public health concern around the world, largely in tropical countries. An estimated 247 million malaria cases and 619,000 deaths in 2021 is the current known global health burden of malaria, as stated in the WHO World Malaria Report 2022.</p><p>We all must do our part in preventing malaria, which starts by arming ourselves with awareness and knowledge of the disease. Read on for some essential malaria facts you may not know about. </p><p><strong>Key Facts</strong></p><ul><li>Over 1.6 million cases of malaria were reported in Pakistan in 2022, the majority of which were from Sindh and Baluchistan. A rapid upsurge in malaria cases was observed after the devastating floods of mid-June 2022, due to huge collections of stagnant water.</li><li>Malaria usually impacts the most vulnerable members of society; infants, children up to 5 years of age, pregnant women, travellers, and people with HIV or AIDS, as well as poor and marginalized people are all at higher risk of malaria. </li><li>According to UNICEF, malaria is the third largest killer of children under 5 years of age, after pneumonia and diarrhoea. Children under 5 years of age account for 77% of total malaria deaths worldwide. </li><li>Contracting malaria during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery or delivery of a baby with low birth weight; hence, extra precautions should be taken during pregnancy.</li><li>A rare way of transmitting malaria is through blood transfusion and contaminated needles; however, this is a highly unlikely way of contracting the infection since blood is usually screened for malaria. </li><li>WHO states that sleeping under an insecticide-treated mosquito net is the most effective way to prevent malaria, since these mosquitoes bite most often during night-time. </li><li>A vaccine for malaria is currently being tested in certain African countries and will likely soon be available on the market in other countries as well. </li></ul><p>Living in a malaria-endemic country means always taking the proper preventive measures, particularly during the monsoon season and when going to areas with lots of mosquitoes. </p><ul><li>Use insecticide and coils at night</li><li>Use mosquito nets and window screens</li><li>Apply mosquito repellent</li><li>Wear long-sleeved clothes when necessary </li></ul><p>See <a href="/pakistan/diseases-and-conditions/Pages/malaria.aspx">here</a> to know further details about malaria, its symptoms, and treatment. ​

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