Malaria is a communicable disease caused by protozoa, which has four species, which are P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae. Malaria is transmitted to humans by the Anopheline mosquito. The transmission of the disease is affected by climate and geography.
Malaria is common in Africa and South-East Asia, and is re-emerging in areas which have been under control. Several developed countries get malaria from endemic areas, because of international travels. Malaria is a public health problem in more than ninety countries. Mortality due to malaria occurs in young children in Africa, especially in areas with poor health services. The disease is endemic in one hundred and one countries mostly in the African region.
The symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, pain in the joints, headaches, repeated vomiting, convulsions, and coma. Sever anemia might occur.
Malaria in Children:
Malaria is very common among children who live in certain endemic areas. In Africa, children under five years of age are chronic victims of malaria. Children often die in less than seventy-two hours after developing the disease. In children who survive, malaria takes away their nutrients and affects their physical and intellectual developments. More over, malaria is a main reason for poor school attendance. About three million children die from malaria per year.
Prevention of malaria includes a variety of measures. Measures that protect infection are directed against the mosquito which include personal protection measures like, protective clothing, repellents, bed nets, and community protection measures like, use of insecticides. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are fundamental in malaria prevention. Children and pregnant women are especially important in malaria control.
A limited number of drugs are available for treating malaria. In many parts of the world drug resistance has caused difficulty in treatment of malaria. The drugs available to treat malaria are antimalarial like, chloroquine. Malaria isn’t very easy to treat, and there isn’t much hope for quick recovery. The treatment for malaria is very expensive; and that is why many poor children and others are dying from this awful disease.
Samar Al Ansari