The problem of Malaria

Malaria is one of the largest killers of children in the world today. It is exclusively spread by the female Anopheles mosquito and each year in sub Saharan Africa 2 million people die because from it.

There are 4 main types of Malaria parasite. The most deadly is plasmodium falciparum (which causes a strain of Malaria known as PF Malaria). The Pf Malaria parasites can block the capillaries of the major organs which can kill a person within hours.

Up to 500 million cases of Malaria are recorded each year; that is 10 cases per second these translate into 3000 deaths a day. The World Bank estimates that Malaria annually costs struggling African economies $US15 billion.

Malaria is easy to catch, but it is also easy to treat, easy to prevent and easy to test for. Testing kits can cost up to $US2.50 each. Medicines are usually cheap and readily available through local health departments or community clinics.

To beat Malaria we have to help people to make the right connections so that they can address the disease and meet the challenge head on. Empowering NGOs and local communities is the key to reducing the death toll.

Millennium Development Goal Number six focuses on reducing HIV / AIDS and Malaria.

  • Mosquitoes are tiny serial killers! The diseases they carry such as Malaria, Filariasis and Dengue fever are killing millions of people every year. In the case of Malaria up to 2 million people a year die from the disease and according to the World Health Organization, most of its victims are pregnant women or children under the age of 5 years of age.

  • Filarial worms in humans can cause Lymphatic Filariasis which develops into elephantitus. This highly debilitating disease sees some parts of the body grow to over sized proportions causing its victims pain and discomfort for the rest of their life.

  • Dengue fever is a flu-like viral disease spread by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a severe, often fatal, complication of dengue. There are approx 500 million cases of Dengue each year. From these 10% develop into Dengue hemorrhagic fever resulting in up to 50,000 deaths per year.

  • But mosquitoes are manageable and the diseases they spread are treatable. Death rates can be reduced and the scourge these diseases can be beaten.

    With regards to Malaria, there are many contributing factors to this epidemic that sees 300 to 500 million cases a year; however, we can safely say that Malaria has only effectively tightened its grip on the poorer nations of the world. Poverty compounds the depth to which the disease can strike.

    The availability of effective medications relies on the availability of the money with which to buy them. Hospitals in the developing world are not coping with the demands that Malaria is putting on their meager resources. Mosquito eradication programs cost money and in some countries there is just not enough money to fund these types of programs.