Brazil plans to eradicate disease transmission by 2035 • SiteBarra

Although records of malaria cases in Brazil show a downward trend, the data still worries health officials. In 2021, 145,000 cases of malaria were recorded nationwide, with more than 99% in the Amazon. In accordance with the goals of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Malaria Elimination Plan in Brazil aims to eliminate the transmission of malaria by 2035.

The Brazilian goal is to reach 68,000 cases by 2025, to then register numbers below 14,000 cases by 2030 and reduce the number of deaths to zero in the same year. According to the Ministry of Health, more than R$ 275 million was invested in the fight against malaria in 2020 alone. WHO’s coordinated plans aim to reduce the disease by 90% worldwide and eliminate malaria in at least 35 countries by 2030; in addition to avoiding re-introduction to countries already considered transmission-free.

And to widen the discussion on the subject and strengthen contact between professionals studying and working in the fight against the disease, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) will host the 16 meetings of malaria research starting this Monday (25). The event also marks the 15th anniversary of International Malaria Day. The date of April 25 was set by the WHO to recognize global efforts to effectively control the disease.

The meeting, which was scheduled to take place in 2021 and was postponed due to the pandemic, will run until Thursday (28) and will include experts from 15 Brazilian and 18 foreign institutions, including Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID-NIH and head of the US Covid -19 Task Force and Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, responsible for the Fiocruz-made AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and R21/MM malaria vaccine. Among those present are Nísia Trindade Lima, President of Fiocruz, Cláudio Tadeu Daniel-Ribeiro, Head of the IOC Malaria Research Laboratory.

Cláudio Tadeu Daniel-Ribeiro, who coordinates the Malaria Research Laboratory in Fiocruz, recalls that the date is important to draw everyone’s attention to a problem that affects more than 200 million people worldwide and that the 16th meeting of the national malaria research will be another opportunity to gather knowledge to eradicate the disease.

“Our country is still living with nearly 200,000 cases of malaria each year, severely impacting Amazonian populations, and we have made efforts to change this reality. Our goal is to eradicate malaria in Brazil, and for this scientific research and the fight against the disease in the countryside must go hand in hand,” stressed Cláudio.

Malaria is recognized as a serious public health problem worldwide. According to the WHO, 229 million new cases of the disease were reported in 2019, with more than 409,000 deaths recorded worldwide. In 2020, Brazil registered a total of 145,188 cases of malaria compared to 157,452 registered cases in 2019. According to the Minister of Health at the Ministry of Health, Arnaldo Correia de Medeiros, the numbers are being gradually controlled, but there is a need to have more prevention, treatment and information for the country to stop the disease can eradicate.

“Between 2019 and 2020 we saw a more than 10% decrease in malaria cases in Brazil. Despite the good news, however, it must be remembered that malaria poses a public health challenge. There are more than 140,000 cases a year, almost all in the Amazon,” stresses the secretary.

According to the Health Surveillance Secretariat, as of 2019, 80% of occurrences were concentrated in 41 communities in Amazonas, Pará, Roraima, Amapá, Acre, Rondônia and Mato Grosso.

In Belém (PA), for example, 23 cases of malaria were registered in March and April this year, according to the Municipal Health Department (Sesma). There were 13 cases in March and 10 cases in April. There are no records of deaths caused by the disease in 2022, according to the secretary.

about malaria

Malaria is one of the oldest parasitic diseases in the world, caused by four different species of protozoa of the genus Plasmodium, and three species are found in Brazil: P. vivax (the most common), P. falciparum and P. malariae. The disease is transmitted by the infected female Anopheles mosquito biting the human, who in turn becomes the protozoa’s host. When an uninfected mosquito bites an infected person, it also transmits malaria. However, it can also be transmitted through sharing needles, blood transfusions, or even from mother to fetus during pregnancy. The most common symptoms of the disease are high fever, chills and loss of appetite.

Cause – In Brazil, there are three species of Plasmodium that affect humans: P. falciparum, P. vivax and P. malariae. The most aggressive is P. falciparum, which multiplies rapidly in the bloodstream, destroying 2% to 25% of total red blood cells (RBCs) and causing severe anemia. Therefore, P. falciparum malaria is considered a medical emergency and treatment must be started within the first 24 hours of fever onset.

symptoms – After being bitten by the transmitting mosquito, P. falciparum remains incubated in the infected person’s body for at least a week. A variable clinical picture follows with chills, high fever (at first continuously, then frequently every three days), sweating and headache. Muscle pain, tachycardia, an enlarged spleen, and sometimes delirium can also occur.

diagnosis – The leading cause of death from malaria is late diagnosis and the lack of professionals familiar with the disease outside of the endemic area. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that patients suspected of having malaria be diagnosed by parasitological examinations using microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Early diagnosis is essential for a good patient prognosis and depends on clinical suspicion.

Treatment – Treatment for malaria aims to eliminate the parasite from the person’s bloodstream as quickly as possible and should be started as soon as possible. Prompt treatment with an antimalarial – up to 24 hours after the onset of fever – is essential to avoid complications. If the diagnostic test is not accessible within the first two hours of treatment, malaria treatment should be initiated based on the patient’s clinical and epidemiological status.

Prevention – Malaria prevention consists of controlling/eliminating the transmitting mosquito and can be done through individual measures, e.g. B. Mosquito nets impregnated or not with insecticides, clothing to protect legs and arms, fly screens on doors and windows, repellents. Collective measures include drainage of water collections, small-scale remediation works to eliminate vector breeding sites, landfills, cleaning of breeding sites banks, modification of water flow, control of aquatic vegetation, improvement of living and working conditions, and rational use of the earth.

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