“Small Bite, Big Threat”: Marking World Health Day

Embassy of the United States in Mali

No: BAM2014-023 ENG Bamako, Mali, April 8, 2014

This World Health Day – April 7 – the World Health Organization highlighted the increasing threat of insect-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, and yellow fever under the slogan, “Small bite, big threat.”

To mark the occasion, the U.S. Embassy in Mali launched the distribution of more than a million insecticide-treated mosquito nets on April 5 in Kita as part of its campaign to combat malaria, an entirely preventable disease that is the leading cause of infections and death in the country.

Together with the National Program for the Fight against Malaria in Mali, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have distributed more than 6 million treated mosquito nets to Malians and are seeking to reduce the number of malaria cases by 70 percent.  Malian and American scientists are collaborating to eradicate the disease entirely under the auspices of the United States’ National Institutes of Health (NIH).

World Health Day is larger than just one disease.  It focuses on overall well-being.  To re-enforce the benefits of healthy lifestyles and the importance of early diagnosis of problems, the U.S. Embassy held its annual health fair for employees on April 8.

Featured at the fair were free and confidential testing for diabetes, high blood pressure and HIV infection.  Informational kiosks also addressed the effects and treatment of obesity, smoking, alcohol abuse, malaria and other infectious diseases.

The Mali Centre National De Transfusion Sanguine (CNTS) also conducted a blood drive, collecting more than 58 units of blood for use by Malians patients.