WMD: Walking under sun does not cause malaria, researcher clarifi

April 25, 2024

A researcher on malaria pathogenesis and molecular resistance at the University of Ibadan, Prof Olusegun Ademowo, has refuted the belief that walking under the sun or experiencing stress can lead to malaria infection.

In an interview with PUNCH Healthwise, he asserted that malaria is transmitted solely through exposure to the malaria parasite carried by female Anopheles mosquitoes.

PUNCH Healthwise discovered that some individuals have held on strongly to the misconception that walking under the sun or prolonged exposure to sunlight could lead to malaria infection.

He said consequently, these individuals attribute feverish symptoms to recent sun exposure and promptly seek anti-malaria drugs from patent medicine stores without undergoing proper blood tests.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation states that malaria spreads to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

The WHO noted that malaria could also be transmitted through blood transfusion and contaminated needles, but noted that the number of people that receive blood transfusion is minimal.

According to the global health body, malaria is a life-threatening disease with mild or life-threatening symptoms such as fever, cold, headaches, fatigue and difficulty in breathing, among other symptoms.

The WHO noted that the disease burden is about 249 million cases and 608,000 deaths in 85 countries as of 2022.

Africa carries a high incidence rate of the global malaria burden with about 233 million cases and 580,000 deaths.

Speaking on WMD, which is celebrated on April 25 every year, the WHO decried the standstill in the progress made in reducing the malaria burden globally.

This year’s theme, “Accelerating the fight against malaria for a more equitable world” seeks to reach the 2030 malaria reduction target through the application of “equity-oriented, gender-responsive and human-rights-based approaches.”

Also speaking on the WMD, the professor of Biochemical Pharmacology called for the adoption of preventive measures and proper diagnosis and treatment of malaria to reduce the onset of anti-malaria resistance.


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