A seminar was held in The University of Faisalabad to mark the ‘World Malaria Day’ on April 25, 2017. Dr Asif Shahzad District Health Officer, Faisalabad was the guest speaker.
In his key note address, Prof Dr Zahid Masood, Head, Department of Community Medicine, University Medical & Dental College said that Malaria has re-emerged as a major cause of morbidity in Pakistan. Unpredictable transmission patterns, low immune status of the population, climatic changes, poor socioeconomic conditions, declining health infrastructure, resource constraints, poor access to preventive and curative services, and mounting drug insecticide resistance in parasites and vectors contribute to this huge disease burden. Globally every two minutes a child dies due to malaria especially in African countries. In Pakistan half a million-malaria cases occur annually and Sindh and Baluchistan are more affected provinces.
Higher morbidity and mortality is due to lack of awareness, he added. Sri Lanka, Morocco and Turkmenistan, had eliminated malaria — that is, reduced the incidence of infections in their countries to zero. Mosquito control was the main way to reduce malaria transmission at the community level. He disclosed that WHO has launched vaccine for malaria in three African countries which include Kenya Ghana and Malawi. The injectable vaccine was developed to protect young children from the most deadly form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) remain the most important tools to address the health issues. Dr Asif Shahzad District Health Officer Faisalabad said that in Pakistan P – vivax was most common type of malaria parasite. He further added that Government of Punjab was geared up to eliminate menace of malaria. Prof Dr Abdul Haq Director ORIC showed his concerns on occurrence of malaria in some part of country due to P – falciparum which has fatal outcome.
Program was followed by a skit by MBBS 4th year students.