Malaria Awareness Month

November 1, 2011 to November 30, 2011

November has been declared Malaria Awareness Month, pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 1168, to build public awareness on the disease and its prevention and control.

Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic infection that is caused by a parasite called plasmodium. It is spread by a bite of an infected female anopheles mosquito which abounds in tropical and swampy areas. Malaria can also spread through blood transfusion, organ transplant, sharing of needles and syringes with an infected person, and transfer of malaria parasites from an infected mother to an unborn child. When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasites enter the bloodstream and travels to the liver. There the parasites multiply during an incubation period that takes anywhere from eight days to several months. Then they travel back into the blood, where they continue to grow and multiply and attack red blood cells.

The basic symptoms of malaria are muscle pain, headache, nausea, fever, shivering, fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. The disease is curable if diagnosed and treated immediately. However, if not treated on time, it becomes life-threatening as it damages the organs in the body.

Proclamation No. 1168 declaring the month of November of every year as Malaria Awareness Month, Malaria is the 8th leading cause of morbidity in the Philippines, affecting most Filipinos of productive age group, and vulnerable groups which includes pregnant women, children and indigenous population groups, and continue to be a major impediment to human and economic development in area where it persists.

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