- The World Malaria Day is Commemorated every 25 April, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Malaria Day highlights the need for sustained investment and political commitment for malaria prevention, control and elimination. This year’s campaign, “Zero malaria starts with me,” is a grassroots campaign that emphasizes country ownership and community empowerment of malaria prevention and care.
Malaria is a life-threatening mosquito-borne blood disease. The female anopheles mosquito transmits it to humans. Five types of Plasmodium parasite can infect humans. These occur in different parts of the world. Some cause a more severe type of malaria than others.
Symptoms of malaria.
As symptoms resemble those of flu, they may remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in areas where malaria is less common. In uncomplicated malaria, symptoms progress as follows, through cold, hot, and sweating stages: a sensation of cold with shivering fever, headaches, and vomiting seizures sometimes occur in younger people with the diseases, followed by a return to normal temperature, with tiredness.
In areas where malaria is common, many people recognize the symptoms as malaria and treat themselves without visiting a doctor. Symptoms of severe malaria include: fever and chills impaired consciousness, prostration, or adopting a prone position, multiple convulsions, deep breathing and respiratory distress, abnormal bleeding and signs of anemia clinical jaundice and evidence of vital organ dysfunction. Severe malaria can be fatal without treatment.
Treatment of Malaria
Treatment aims to eliminate the Plasmodium parasite from the bloodstream. Those without symptoms may be treated for infection to reduce the risk of disease transmission in the surrounding population.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) to treat uncomplicated malaria Artemisinin is derived from the plant Artemisia annua, better known as sweet wormwood. It rapidly reduces the concentration of Plasmodium parasites in the bloodstream.
Practitioners often combine ACT with a partner drug. ACT aims to reduce the number of parasites within the first 3 days of infection, while the partner drugs eliminate the rest. In places where malaria is resistant to ACT, treatment must contain an effective partner drug.
There are several ways to keep malaria at bay.
Research to develop safe and effective global vaccines for malaria is ongoing, with the licensing of one vaccine already having occurred in Europe. No vaccine is yet licensed in the U.S. Seek medical attention for suspected symptoms of malaria as early as possible.
2. Advice for travelers
The follwing can help prevent the risk of fallen ill with malaria when you travel abroad:
- Before you travel, find out what the risk of malaria is in the country and city or region you are visiting.
- Also ask your doctor what medications you could use to prevent infections in that region.
- obtain antimalarial drugs before leaving home, to avoid the risk of buying counterfeit drugs.
- while abroad consider the risk for individual travelers, including children, older people, pregnant women, and the existing medical conditions of any travelers ensure they will have access to preventative tools, many of which are available to purchase online, including insect repellants, insecticides, pre-treated bed nets, and appropriate clothingbe aware of the symptoms of malaria
- In emergency situations, local health authorities in some countries may carry out”fogging,” or spraying areas with pesticides similar to those used in household sprays. The WHO points out that these are not harmful for people, as the concentration of pesticide is only strong enough to kill mosquitoes.
- While away, travelers should, where possible, avoid situations that increase the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. Precautions include taking an air-conditioned room, not camping by stagnant water, and wearing clothes that cover the body at times when mosquitoes are most likely to be around.
- Diagnosis for Malaria
Early diagnosis is critical for recovery from malaria. Anyone showing signs of malaria should seek testing and treatment immediately.
The WHO strongly advise confirmation of the parasite through microscopic laboratory testing or by a rapid diagnostic test (RDT), depending on the facilities available. No combination of symptoms can reliably distinguish malaria from other causes, so aparasitological test is vital for identifying and managing the disease.
In some malaria-endemic areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the disease’s severity can cause mild immunity in a large proportion of the local population. As a result, some people carry the parasites in their bloodstream but do not fall ill.
The eradication of malaria begins with you. Everyone must strive not only to prevent the spread of malaria but more importantly to do all that is best possible to end this debilitating plague.
Today, The World Malaria Day, The Yes, We Are Winning Fundation joins the world to advocate for a safer environment and a call for Government provide more intrvention and to enact policies that would seek to end of malaria in our society.
Yes, We Are Winning, WeCEEEyou!!!
Written by Titilola Ogunwale.