WHY MALARIA IS THE MOST UNDERESTIMATED KILLER DISEASE IN AFRICA

Thousands of babies, pregnant women, children and even adults are dying daily from preventable diseases like diarrhea and malaria, most especially children under the age of five in the developing world. Millions of cases are recorded yearly in Africa, particularly involving the high risk/vulnerable group (pregnant women, children & Expatriates).

Malaria is a deadly disease that kills if no proper care is taking. In sub-saharan African population, statistics show that a lot of children from there are likely to die before the age of five(5) from malaria. Studies have also shown that malaria is more common in children than adults.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF MALARIA

Malaria is a life threatening disease caused by PARASITIC PROTOZOANS (A group of single celled microorganisms) called “plasmodium” that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female ANOPHELES MOSQUITO. Malaria causes vital symptoms that are underestimated by Africans which include

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pains
  • Tiredness and general body pains
  • In worse cases it could cause Yellow skin, Seizures, Coma or Death

These symptoms could last for 10-15 days after being bitten by mosquitoes and if not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease a month later. Those who recently survive one infection will usually have milder symptoms if reinfection with malaria occurs. With proper treatment, symptoms of Malaria quickly disappears within a couple of days to about two weeks.

malaria-transmission-cycle

HOW MALARIA HAS BEEN TREATED

For many years, traditional herbal remedies have been used to treat malaria. The first effective treatment for malaria came from the bark of “cinchona tree” which contains quinine. But today, Artemisinin is present in every remedy applied in the treatment of malaria. After introducing it together with other remedies, the research results show ¬†that the mortality in Africa went down by half. Although the disease continues to afflict over 200 million patients each year, killing more than 600,000, Malaria remained Endemic in more than 100 countries throughout the tropical and subtropical zones including large areas of central

3 Main Reasons Why Malaria Is Underestimated Killer Disease In Africa

  1. Many Africans seems to be careless regarding their Health and that of their children, which is why people die of Malaria without knowing it. People no longer go for monthly check ups as they ought to, where there general health status can be evaluated and immunity improved against many diseases including malaria. One major reason behind this may be poverty and cost of hospital bills for their health and that of their children.
  2. Malaria has been regarded by many as a very common disease. In several African countries, many people underestimate malaria infection and no longer go for checkup and are careless about Fever and headache. If proper attention is given to symptoms, it will help reduce the death rate.
  3. Resistance of PLASMODIUM to ANTI MALARIA drugs, as well as resistance of Mosquitoes to insecticides and the discovery of Zoonotic species of the PARASITE have complicated control measures, adding up to the number of mortalities from malaria infection in both children and adults.

QUICK STEPS TO PREVENT MALARIA

  • Avoid dirty environment
  • Avoid staying outside during evening without long sleeve
  • Always using mosquito net
  • keep your room neat
  • Go for routine medical check up especially during pregnancy and protect children under 5 years

SUMMARY

Malaria is said to be a life threatening disease only if preventive and control measures are not taken. It is advisable by health professionals for everybody to go for regular checkup at least once a month and pregnant women are advised to treat malaria to protect their unborn child. If the average African can respond to their treatment and checkup, it will help reduce death rate and save more lives.

 

SOURCE:

Roft A (2024). Malaria prevention in travellers (non- drug intervention)

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