It is surprising that in a technological superior era like ours, we still have to deal with diseases like malaria in poor countries. One of the major factors that contribute to this is the poverty and the lack of education. A lower socioeconomic status gives birth to lowly and substandard living conditions which in turn contribute to diseases being spread through a lack of personal and social hygiene. This article talks about the World Health Organization’s efforts to eradicate malaria from most Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia by introducing awareness programs and equipment like long lasting insecticidal nets.
Research shows that almost one million people die of malaria every year. Ninety percent of these people reside in the sub-Saharan Africa and overall forty percent of the world’s population lives in malaria high risk areas. Other than this, 300 to 600 million people contract malaria annually. Why are these figures horrifying? Because of the world we live in, where medical science has found a cure or a preventive measure against AIDS, dying of malaria is a result of extreme negligence and poor organizational skills. For decades now, WHO has organized many campaigns which have eradicated certain diseases that were epidemics in some parts of the world like cholera, polio, tuberculosis, etc. Currently, World Health Organization is working towards preventing deaths caused by malaria in Africa.
What really makes it worse is that malaria is a very well-researched disease and we know quite a few things about. For example, malaria is caused by the female Anopheles mosquito, and it has five species that cause malaria in humans. Children, non-immune travelers and pregnant women are at the highest risk of contracting malaria when in high risk malaria zones. In just 2015, some 400,000 people died of malaria. More research shows that most malarial deaths happen in children below the age of five. However, World Health Organization’s dedication deserves applause as since 2000, as death rate caused by malaria has fallen by sixty percent. One important aspect in the malarial endemic is to have proper testing to detect malaria in early stages as early detection saves lives.
A worrisome fact that turned up a few years ago is that the malarial parasite has become resistant to Artemisinin in five South East Asian countries. Artemisinin is the main compound at anti-malarial medication and it is still effective in other areas. For the past few years, World Health Organization has recommended the use of long lasting insecticidal nets to counter malaria. These nets are made of a durable material and can last for two to three years and these nets are covered in insecticide that is parasite resistant. The nets have actually helped decrease the incidence of malaria and in just the past five years, sixty eight percent children in Africa have started sleeping under these nets; a number that was barely two percent when this campaign started.
There have been many researches conducted on the efficacy of long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) and it was found that what kept the efficacy of these nets up were proper handling and care rather than usage and age. This shows that people need to be educated about proper net usage and how to slow down its degradation. However, that being said, the usage of LLINs has proven to be quite effective in preventing malaria in children and pregnant women, two of the most vulnerable populations in this scenario. Malaria can cause a lot of economic, financial and emotional distress in developing or poor countries. This is because proper health care is not available in these countries and the onset of malaria makes it harder for the population to function properly.
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