Malaria is the commonest diseases in tropical countries, like Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, etc. Malaria is also prevalent in Central and South America, Asia (including southeast Asia), Papua New Guinea, western Pacific islands. It is responsible for much ill-health (morbidity) and many deaths each year. It is more prevalent among under 5 children (3-10) expectant mothers, (1:10) those with debilitating conditions like HIV/AIDS and malnourished individuals and is characterized with many signs and symptoms like fever, cold catarrh, etc. You will learn the various causes of malaria and symptoms, prevention of malaria and its life cycle.
Everybody should join the government agencies, groups, organizations and media to realize the goals set up in Roll Back Malaria i.e. to reduce the burden of malaria by half by 2020. April 25 each year is Africa Malaria day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) gives the most current update and information about malaria.
HOW DO WE GET MALARIA?
Malaria is due to one of the plasmodia species namely: plasmodium falciparum, plasmodium, vivax, plasmodium malariae, plasmodium ovale and plasmodium Knowles. The specie that cause the greatest illness and death in Africa is plasmodium falciparum, it is transmitted by female anopheles mosquitoes which breads in stagnant water and bushy areas. The incubation period is 10-30days.
WHAT HAPPENS BEFORE MALARIA BECOMES FULL BLOWN IN HUMAN BODY? (LIFE CYCLE OF MALARIA)
The female anopheles mosquito sucks infected blood containing the gametocytes of plasmodium falciparum which forms eggs. These develops in about 2 weeks into sporozoites which the mosquito’s salivary to be injected into the next person bitten. In man, the sporozoites develop in liver cells which rupture to release merozoites into the blood and these enter red blood cells where asexual multiplication occurs. The invaded cells rupture to release merozoites into the plasma and cause rigor fever. The patient feels cold. There is several headache, nausea vomiting, anorexia, general malaise joint pains. The spleen is enlarged and tender and may rupture from minor Note: Female Anopheles mosquitoes are usually active from 10pm – 4am.
In general, during a blood meal, a malaria-infected female Anopheles mosquito inoculates sporozoites into the human host. Sporozoites infect liver cells and mature into schizonts, which rupture and release merozoites.
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HARM DONE (SYMPTOMS) TO HEALTH BY MALARIA PARASITE
- Dehydration /fluid imbalance
- Low birth weight Babies
- Cardiac failure
- Acute renal failure
- Cerebral complication â€“ coma convulsion as in cerebral malaria
TREATMENT OF MALARIA
- Self-medication is discouraged.
- The patient should be sent to health hospital where Artemisinin combination therapy is the drug of choice in this our dispensation. This is because plasmodium falciparum is developing resistance to only quinine preparations.
- In case of night fever, the patient should be exposed tepid sponged and oral paracetamol given before going to the hospital.
- Bed rest is encouraged. This will help to rest all the systems of the body as malaria is a systematic infection. Fluid should be given liberally in order to lower the body temperature and prevent haemolysis dehydration and fluid imbalance.
PREVENTION OF MALARIA
Prevention is better and cheaper than cure. Since malaria is caused by the bite of female anopheles mosquitoes. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, bushy areas etc. The following measures should be undertaken to higher or reduced mosquitoes from breeding.
- Throw away containers broken pots, bottles, unused tyres where water collects and mosquitoes breeds
- Cut grasses bushes around our environments such as our houses, offices and churches
- Cover containers used to store water
- Fill up holes and pool of water that does not flow with oil, kerosene or soil.
- Cleaning gutters regularly.
- Other important measures to reduce the chances of mosquito bite include the followings:
- Use of insect repellant creams
- Use of spray insecticide
- Use of windows and doors nets
- Wearing of protective clothing like long sleeved shirts and full trousers for men and long sleeved blouses and long shirts/gown for women
- Use of insecticides treated net on the bed. It can be short acting on long acting
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