The World Health Organization(WHO) regional office Sunday announced a contest in drawing and colouring for students in the region marking the goal of World Health Day 2014.
The competition aims at raising awareness about the threat posed by vectors – such as mosquitoes, sandflies, bugs, ticks and snails – in transmitting certain diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves.
A statement released by WHO stated that campaign will spotlight some of the most commonly known vectors responsible for transmitting a wide range of diseases. Mosquitoes, for example, not only transmit malaria and dengue, but also lymphatic filariasis, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever.
A core element of the campaign will be to provide communities with information,the statement stressed.
The statement warned that vectors cause many deadly diseases, where millions of people die as a result.
The most deadly vector-borne disease, malaria, caused an estimated 660 000 deaths in 2010, most of which were among African children.
However, the statement added the world’s fastest growing vector-borne disease is dengue, with a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years. Globalization of trade and travel and environmental challenges such as climate change and urbanization are also affecting the transmission of vector-borne diseases, and causing their appearance in countries where they were previously unknown.
In recent years, renewed commitments from ministries of health, regional and global health initiatives – with the support of foundations, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and the scientific community – have helped to lower the incidence and death rates from some vector-borne diseases,WHO said.
The statement explained that students' contribution in preventing vector-borne diseases come through the participation in World Health Day activities. For example they can raise awareness of the causes and ways of transmission of vector- borne diseases and help make people around them aware of how to protect themselves from these diseases,where they can express these concepts through a contest in drawing and in coloring.
Winners will receive prizes of US$ 200, US$ 175, US$ 150, US$ 125 and US$ 100 , as well as Certificates of Merit. An exhibit will be held for winning entries at the Regional Office premises in Cairo.