baby with malaria

World Malaria Day and Save the Mothers

A mother waits at a rural Ugandan hospital for treatment for her baby boy, who has malaria.

Did you know?

  • April 25 is World Malaria Day (WMD).
  • Malaria is a parasitic infection that attacks a person’s red blood cells.
  • Malaria is caused by parasites that are transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • It is one of the leading infectious causes of death worldwide, especially among young children and pregnant women in Africa.
  • Uganda has one of the highest rates of malaria in Africa, where it is the leading cause of death.
  • An estimated 16 million cases of malaria occur annually in Uganda, with 100,000 people – mostly pregnant women and children – dying from the disease each year. Half of all malaria deaths here occur in children under the age of five.
  • 3.3 billion people in 106 countries are at risk of malaria.

Through the Save the Mothers Master in Public Health Leadership program, our students learn the importance of malaria prevention, and of proper treatment for pregnant women and babies. As a result, Save the Mothers is working towards reducing the prevalence and severity of malaria in mothers and children. Like other issues of maternal health, malaria is best tackled through the training and experience of multi-disciplinary professionals – including journalists and social workers – who are able to sensitize communities and influence the development of public policy.

Programs such as the Save the Mothers Mother Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI), help partnered health facilities by providing emergency funds that are used to assist the most at risk pregnant mothers, women who come from poor backgrounds who can’t afford to pay for healthcare services.

The MBFHI has also started a new program constructing High Dependency Units in partnered health facilities. These special units allow mothers with the most severe and urgent needs to be closely monitored, thus attending to girls and women who might otherwise die.

Through each of these initiatives, we see the importance of having input from all sectors and communities; one method alone will not work with the same degree of effectiveness in each region of the country. The same tactics that work in urban areas will not necessarily work in rural ones. All voices are needed to assist in stopping the spread of endemics.

This World Malaria Day, Save the Mothers thanks all those using their voices, skills, talents and expertise in the fight against malaria.

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