Malaria is an infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites from the Plasmodium family that can be transmitted by the sting of the female Anopheles mosquito or by a contaminated needle or transfusion.
There are 4 types of Plasmodium species causing malaria (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale and P. malariae), P. falciparum being the most deadly. An estimated 40% of the world’s population is exposed to malaria. It is the most frequent parasitic infection representing, in with about 207 million cases and an estimated 627,000 deaths, mostly among African children, in 2012 (World Health Organization). Malaria is found in tropical regions including Sub-Saharan Africa (80% of cases) as well as South Africa, South-East Asia, the Pacific Islands, India and South and Central America.
In the last 12 months, Europ Assistance - Global Corporate Solutions (GCS) diagnosed more than 4,000 malaria cases within all its Europ Assistance Medical Centers and on remote site client operations. Today, with this figure in mind, GCS organized local events in countries where it operates and where the disease is prevalent to further highlight the need to be aware of the risk and to know key prevention techniques in fighting the disease. Through awareness training videos, interactive presentations, and a questionnaire on malaria, attendees learned about malaria and its effects, the beneﬁts and appropriate use of bed nets and repellents, and where able to assess their level of awareness. A specific initiative was conducted in Luanda, Angola, where GCS’ Medical Team educated more than 200 young students at a local school on malaria risks and prevention techniques through a theater performance telling the story of GCS’ Malaria Awareness Coloring Book.
GCS devotes a particular attention to this subject and Dr. David Polleau, Medical Director at GCS, coordinates all GCS primary and secondary prevention efforts worldwide to raise local, expatriate and business traveler populations’ awareness and ensure a quick diagnosis is done and the appropriate treatment given when first symptoms appear: "Indeed, it is essential to address this disease on different fronts such as information, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. GCS provides information through informational posters, its Malaria Awareness Coloring Book for Kids and its dedicated 24/7 Malaria Hotline; prevention through the strict implementation and continuous improvement of its prevention policy through the GCS Malaria Control Program; and self-diagnosis Malaria Diagnostic Kits as well as treatment for malaria-infected personnel and patients.”