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World Malaria Day: Accelerating the fight against malaria 

April 25 is World Malaria Day, a day to raise awareness of the global impact of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that continues to claim countless lives. In 2022 alone, the World Health Organization reported a staggering 249 million malaria cases and over 600 thousand deaths, with young children in the African Region amongst the hardest hit. Not only does malaria continue to have a devastating toll on families, communities and countries, but it also perpetuates a vicious cycle of inequity.  

Women and girls in particular face a higher risk of malaria infection. Pregnant women, especially those living in rural areas, are particularly vulnerable to the disease because of reduced immunity and other challenges including difficulties accessing timely malaria prevention and care. This year’s World Malaria Day theme: “Gender, Equity, and Human Rights” underscores the pressing need to break this cycle of inequity and pave the way towards a malaria-free world for generations to come. 

Image by RBM Partnership to End Malaria

Over the last 20 years, significant strides have been made in the fight against malaria, resulting in over 7 million lives being saved. However, recent years have seen   progress against the disease stall, particularly in high-burden countries across sub-Saharan Africa. While current malaria control measures have been instrumental in saving many lives, emerging challenges, including growing resistance to available interventions demonstrate the need for new tools to eliminate the disease. 

To celebrate World Malaria Day, the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research is highlighting the profiles of 12 researchers who are working on innovative approaches to accelerate the fight against malaria for a more equitable world. Each researcher brings a unique contribution to this fight. From conducting studies to unravel the behavior of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, to spearheading the development of cutting-edge genetic vector control tools, their efforts promise to complement existing malaria-control tools and step up the fight against the disease.  

Cultivating a future where every human being can attain the highest standards of health requires addressing healthcare disparities and accelerating the fight against malaria. Research and innovation hold the key to strengthening our malaria-control toolbox and drive us forward towards a malaria-free world. 

Follow live updates from the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research’s World Malaria Day campaign on X and LinkedIn.

Joyce Najm

Currently based in Montreal, Joyce is working as a Communications Officer at Emerging ag, focusing primarily on developing and implementing communication strategies, including content creation, creative assets development, and events support.

Prior to joining Emerging Ag, Joyce has worked in the MENA region as a journalist, market researcher and communications consultant.

As a Lebanese Canadian, she is fluent in English, French and Arabic. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Saint Joseph University of Beirut.

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