Africa: Malaria

Malaria is one of the worst ongoing problems in Africa. The origins of modern human malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) is something that is still debated on, but anthropologist Sabrina Krief believes that it is a mutation of a chimp version. She comes to the conclusion that it was transmitted from bonobos to humans. She and her team were one of the first groups to examin a large population of both lesser and great apes for the Malaria disease. Most of the deaths from Malaria in Africa are children in fact 85% of all deaths related to Malaria in Africa are children under the age of 5. The World Health Organization reports that every 30 seconds a child in Africa dies of Malaria. Pregnant women whom have contracted the disease will more often than not have complications during the birth process. As you probably already know is that Malaria is transmitted by blood parasites. The most common contraction is caused when an infected mosquito stings a person and delivers the parasites directly into the blood stream. There is also a problem with the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa and Malaria. People with Ebola mistake its symptoms for the similar ones produced by malaria and then continue to spread the Ebola virus, as it is much more contagious an Malaria.

Many African governments and global organizations alike are doing what they can to stop the spread of Malaria. They are doing this by setting them selves a goal of lowering the rates of deaths and contractions. To accomplish this they are granting more resources and labor to this cause. I.e more funding for vaccinations, bug nets, and health centers. All and all this parasite is and has for some time been leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Its one of the highest killers in the world and there needs to be more done to prevent and or cure the disease. Most importantly there needs to be a better system of distribution to the kids in Africa so they can get the care they need and live past their 5th birthday.

 

 

“On the Diversity of Malaria Parasites in African Apes and the Origin ofPlasmodium falciparum from Bonobos”, Sabrina Krief, <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820532/>

 “10 Facts on Malaria in Africa” , <http://www.afro.who.int/en/clusters-a-programmes/dpc/malaria/features/2287-10-facts-on-malaria-in-africa.html>

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