Malaria in Africa

by 02/11/2012 11:35:00 0 comments 876 Views
Malaria in Africa

What causes this disease in Africa?

Malaria is caused by mosquito bites from infected insects. The act as the carriers for 4 different types of malaria: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malaria. P. falciparum is the most widespread and dangerous of the four and is widely called “cerebral” or brain malaria. The female mosquito bites an infected person. The parasites live in the mosquito growing and multiplying. When the mosquito bites another person it is injected into their blood stream.

An estimated 655,000 people died from malaria in 2010, 90% of these deaths were in Africa and 60% of those were in children under the age of 5. That is over 1000 preventable deaths per DAY.

What can be done?

Common symptoms of malaria are fever, shivering, pain in the joints, headache, vomiting, and anemia.  The disease can be diagnosed by a microscopic examination of the patient’s blood and can normally be cured by taking animalarial drugs.  However, there are some regions that parasites have developed resistance to these drugs.  People develop immunity to the parasite, but children are very vulnerable until they develop this immunity.

Ways to prevent malaria are taking preventative medicine, drinking papaya leaf tea, sleeping under a mosquito net, burning mosquito coils in the house, and using candles at night with citronella oil. Homes can also be sprayed to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside. Some of these methods have been more thoroughly tested empirically than others yet all have been found effective to some degree. Pregnant women are often given shots during pregnancy to prevent malaria to them and their unborn child. As with most diseases it is important to take care of the immune system in advance so that the body is better able to fight the disease.

Malaria deaths are almost completely due to the lack of treatment which can range in price from $1 to $10 depending on the age of the person who gets it and how quickly it is treated. Every malaria death can be prevented!