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Malaria

Children are among those most at risk

Malaria is an illness spread through the bites of female mosquitoes who are infected with parasites. If untreated, it can be deadly, and it progresses rapidly.

What is malaria?

Malaria is a life-threatening disease, caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bites of infected female mosquitoes. 

Sometimes, these parasites can be life-threatening. They are responsible for most malaria-related deaths within the African continent and elsewhere around the world. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. However, it's found in many places globally - in 2016 there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 91 countries. 

 

What are the symptoms of malaria?*

*This information should not be used to diagnose. If you or someone you know is at risk, seek professional medical advice.

Early symptoms of malaria include a mild fever, chills and headache, all of which appear within 10-15 days after an infectious mosquito bite. It can often be tricky to diagnose early on.

Children with severe malaria frequently develop symptoms of severe anaemia (e.g. fatique, dizziness, pale skin) or respiratory distress. 

 

How Save the Children is fighting malaria

We treat cases of malaria in vulnerable children across our global programmes.
13-month-old twins Disanka* and Diba* were diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and malaria, respectively. Through medical consultations, they were given proper diagnosis and the necessary treatment needed for recovery.

13-month-old twins Disanka* and Diba* were diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and malaria, respectively. Through medical consultations, they were given proper diagnosis and the necessary treatment needed for recovery.

Cyclone Idai response

In the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, the contamination of water sources, damaged sanitation systems and large areas of stagnant flood water have created perfect conditions for disease to spread fast. There has been a drastic spike in malaria, with over 9,000 cases now recorded.

We’re distributing mosquito nets to protect families against this life-threatening disease, and our Emergency Health Unit is providing essential treatment via mobile health teams that are travelling to the worst-hit areas, where people are struggling to access health facilities.

South Sudan

In South Sudan, we implemented life-saving health and nutrition interventions for over 80,000 people between July 2017 and April 2018.

Our mobile outreach teams access hard-to-reach areas, specifically aiming to prevent and treat communicable (infectious) diseases like malaria, promoting reproductive health and screening children and lactating women with acute malnutrition. 

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

One in ten children growing up in the DRC dies before they reach their fifth birthday. 

The health system has been devastated by political and social instability for decades, with many children and women dying needlessly of preventable causes. 

We're working towards ending preventable new-born and child deaths from common childhood diseases, including malaria, pneumonia, diarrhoea and neonatal conditions. 

How we're doing this:

  • Improving the support for community health workers (CHWs) and government-run health facilities
  • Helping to improve communities' ability to access quality health services
  • Providing 146 bicycles to CHWs in May and Jun 2017, helping them to travel to those in need of care 
  • Training 146 CHWs between September and December 2016, with the aim of strengthening their capacity to provide basic care for malaria, as well as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malnutrition
  • Organising refresher training in early 2017 for General Hospital staff, nurses and other health professionals.

 

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