Ongoing Struggle: Fight against Malaria

World Malaria Day (WMD), celebrated since 2007 and started by WHO, is a day to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment to malaria prevention and control.

The theme for WMD24 is ‘Health Equity, Gender and Human Rights’ which focuses on the disproportionate effects of the malaria endemic on women and girls.

Fight Against Malaria Around The World

Globally 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria. The number of cases in 2022 was significantly higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, rising to 249 million from 233 million in 2019. There are 608,000 deaths in 2022 caused by malaria worldwide.

The African region continues to shoulder the heaviest malaria burden, representing 94% of global malaria cases and 95% of global deaths (with an estimated 580,000 deaths) in 2022.

Besides Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Central and Northern South America are the regions affected by malaria the most, especially the rural populations living in poverty and lack of access to education.

Fighting with malaria is also a fight against inequity. People living in the most vulnerable situations including pregnant women, infants, children under 5 years of age, refugees, migrants, and Indigenous Peoples are the group that are most disproportionately affected by malaria.

In the WHO 2023 Malaria Report, climate change effects on malaria are stated for the first time. Climate change increases the risk of missing out on healthcare services needed to prevent, detect, and treat malaria for millions of people.

In Türkiye, with the help of successful malaria prevention strategies, the ratio of the cases was drawn back to 0.34 (incidence in 100,000 people) in 2019. The cases seen since 2014 are originating from abroad. However, the fight against malaria should be an ongoing battle due to factors such as the presence of malaria carrier Anopheles flies, climate change, and increased human mobility.

Life Cycle of Malaria

Malaria is caused by the single-celled parasite of the genus Plasmodium. 5 species Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium knowlesi are the species that are responsible for most of the human malaria cases.

Female Anopheles genus mosquitoes are the only known carriers of these malaria pathogens. When a person gets bitten by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, Plasmodium transmits to the human bloodstream and flows towards the liver. In the liver Plasmodium grow until maturity, then they enter the bloodstream again and attack red blood cells.

Besides mosquito bites, infected blood transfusion and the use of contaminated syringes and needles can also spread this disease.


Malaria is preventable and curable however quick medical attention and treatment is needed or else it can be fatal. The onset of first symptoms varies between a few weeks after being bitten to up to a year. The disease causes flu-like symptoms such as high fevers, vomiting and muscle pain. If left untreated, this can quickly develop into life-threatening conditions such as organ failure.

Prevention And Treatment

Vaccine against P. falciparum is available and advised for children in high-risk countries. Consultation with a doctor and taking preventive medication are advisable for all travellers who travel to risky countries. In these countries covering skin as much as possible, using mosquito-repellent sprays, insecticide-treated bed nets and window sheets is important.

In early diagnosis and treatment, Real-Time PCR detection methods are used for precise Malaria pathogen identification. Anatolia Geneworks’ Bopshore Malaria Detection and Genotyping Kits are enabling the detection of P. malariae, P. vivax, P. falciparum and P. ovale accurately.

In especially severe clinical situations, it is important to analyse different pathogens of possible suspects for accurate and rapid treatment, which can be achieved with Real-Time PCR kits like Bosphore Tropical Fever Panel Kit.

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