Daily News Analysis


7th October, 2021 Health



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  • In a historic move, the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed the first anti-malarial vaccine.



  • The WHO said that it was recommending the use of the RTS, S/AS01 (RTS, S) malaria vaccine among children in sub-Saharan Africa and in other regions with moderate to high falciparum malaria transmission.



  • Malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The disease kills more than 2, 60,000 African children under the age of five annually.
  • The vaccine does significantly reduce life-threatening severed malaria.



  • Malaria is caused by single-celled microorganisms of the Plasmodium group parasites.
  • The disease is most commonly spread by an infected female Anopheles mosquito.
  • The mosquito bite introduces the parasites from the mosquito's saliva into a person's blood.
  • The parasites travel to the liver where they mature and reproduce.
  • Five species of Plasmodium can infect and be spread by humans.
  • Most deaths are caused by falciparum, whereas P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae generally cause a milder form of malaria.
  • The species knowlesi rarely causes disease in humans.
  • Malaria is predominantly found in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, South America as well as Asia.
  • Symptoms: fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death.
  • Malaria is preventable as well as curable.
  • Vaccine: RTS, vaccine.



India and Malaria

  • According to the World Malaria Report 2019, India represents 3% of the global malaria burden.
  • Despite being the highest malaria burden country of the South East Asia region, India reported a decline of 17.6% in 2019 as compared to 2018.
  • India has made remarkable progress during the recent years in reducing the malaria incidence.
  • In May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Technical Strategy (GTS) for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030, which lays down clear global goals, milestones and targets till 2030.
  • In accordance with the GTS, the Government of India launched the National Framework for Malaria Elimination 2016-2030 and the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2017-2022 with WHO support.
  • India has a vision of a malaria free country by 2027 and elimination by 2030.
  • The WHO has also identified 25 countries with the potential to eradicate malaria by 2025 under its ‘E-2025 Initiative’.


  • China is the first country in the WHO Western Pacific Region to be awarded a malaria-free certification in more than 3 decades.
  • Globally, 40 countries and territories have been granted a malaria-free certification from WHO.
  • Recent Declarations: El Salvador (2021), Algeria (2019), Argentina (2019), Paraguay (2018) and Uzbekistan (2018).
  • Countries that have achieved at least three consecutive years of zero indigenous cases can apply for WHO certification of their malaria-free status.


China’s Malaria Elimination Strategy in brief

  • 1-3-7 Strategy: The strategy refers to:
  • A one-day deadline to report a malaria diagnosis,
  • Confirming a case and determining the spread by the third day, and
  • Measures taken to stop the spread by the seventh day, along with continued surveillance in high-risk areas.