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Eliminating malaria in Brazil by 2035 is one of the priorities of the Ministry of Health. The disease represents a major public health problem in the country, with 99% of cases concentrated in the Amazon region and with a higher incidence in populations with greater social vulnerability. Faced with this scenario, the Ministry launched, this Tuesday (25), World Malaria Day, the campaign to raise awareness about forms of prevention and treatment. For the first time, the launch took place in the Amazon region, a priority focus for combating the disease, in the city of Ananindeua (PA).

Cerebral Malaria
Image/the global panorama

With the slogan “The fight against malaria takes place with the participation of all: citizens, community and government”, the campaign aims to alert the population, health professionals and managers about the prevention, control and elimination of the disease. Advertising will run on television, radio, internet, social networks and billboards starting this Tuesday (25) in the states of the Amazon region (AC, AM, AP, MA, MT, PA, RO, RR and TO). The campaign will also be publicized in sound cars and boats, so that the information reaches the population in the most vulnerable locations.

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In 2022, according to preliminary data, 129.1 thousand cases were registered in the country, with a reduction of 8.1% compared to 2021. Despite the drop, the country did not reach the established target, of a maximum of 113 thousand notifications for the number of autochthonous cases, reaching a result of almost 127 thousand locally contracted cases. Regarding deaths, Brazil recorded 37 deaths from the disease in 2019, 51 in 2020, 58 in 2021 and 50 deaths in 2022.

The secretary of Health and Environment Surveillance, Ethel Maciel, during the launch ceremony, recalled the decree signed by President Lula on the last 17th, which establishes an interministerial committee involving nine ministries, with the objective of concentrating actions on the elimination of social determination. “This changes the scenario a lot, because, as we know, the solution is not just in the health sector. So we need to integrate several departments of the federal government, to reach this important milestone for our country, which will be the elimination of malaria and other diseases. We are also creating, under the leadership of Minister Nísia, a working group for the Legal Amazon, where we will work on a specific strategic plan for the region. This is a commitment of the Ministry of Health, on these two fronts, aiming mainly at the filling of some gaps, both in surveillance and assistance. The northern region needs to be seen with a lot of priority, so that we can achieve equity in health ”, he declared.

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All medicines for the treatment of malaria are available in the Unified Health System (SUS). For the diagnosis, the Ministry of Health distributed 171.9 thousand tests, to serve states of the federation and Special Indigenous Sanitary Districts (DSEIs) until August. Another 300,000 tests will be delivered in two stages throughout 2023. This year, the SUS is prepared to treat more than 800,000 people with the disease, including severe malaria.

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Cases in Brazil

In Brazil, 30 municipalities concentrated 80% of cases of the disease. Considering only Plasmodium falciparum malaria (the species most associated with severe malaria), 16 municipalities account for 80% of cases.

Malaria is transmitted through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito infected with one or more species of protozoa of the genus Plasmodium. Despite this, the main way to combat and eliminate malaria is timely diagnosis and full treatment. This way the mosquitoes do not become infected and the transmission cycle is interrupted.

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The mosquito is also known as carapanã, muriçoca, awl, nail mosquito and barramundi. These mosquitoes are most abundant at dusk and dawn. However, they are found throughout the night.

Only female mosquitoes are capable of transmitting malaria. The preferred locations chosen by malaria-transmitting insects to lay their eggs (breeding sites) are points with clean, shaded, low-flow water, very common in the Brazilian Amazon.

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