Near half of world’s population at risk of malaria in 2015
Malaria is a life-threatening disease. It’s typically transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Infected mosquitoes carry the Plasmodium parasite. When this mosquito bites a person, the parasite is released into the bloodstream.
Once the parasites are inside your body, they travel to the liver, where they mature. After several days, the mature parasites enter the bloodstream and begin to infect red blood cells Within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, causing the infected cells to burst open
The parasites continue to infect red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that occur in cycles that last two to three days at a time.
Malaria is typically found in tropical and subtropical climates where the parasites can live. The World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that about half the world’s population were at risk in 2015.
About half of the world’s population lives in areas where people are at risk of getting malaria through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
Each year, about 250 million persons suffer from the disease and one million of them die, mostly African children under five years of age.
Natural History of Disease is a key concept in Epidemiology. It signifies the way in which a disease evolves over time from the earliest stage of its pre-pathogenesis phase to its termination as Recovery, Disability or Death, in the absence of treatment or prevention.
Following the infective bite by the Anopheles mosquito, a period of time (the “incubation period” goes by before the first symptoms appear. The incubation period in most cases varies from 7 to 30 days. The shorter periods are observed most frequently with P. falciparum and the longer ones with P. malaria.
Early diagnosis and treatment – treat early to reduce parasite load, hence spread; prevent deaths
Treat completely to prevent spread and relapse
Ensure compliance with complete treatment
Personal Protection- prevent malaria by using bed nets, insecticide sprays etc., and by chemoprophylaxis.
Seek his help in mosquito control
n Only people in whom laboratory blood tests confirmed the presence of malaria should be treated with anti-malarial drugs. However, in high-risk areas, children under five years of age with malarial symptoms should be treated straight away.
n Malaria has become increasingly resistant to drugs and, at present, medicines based onartemisinin are the only recommended treatment measures against Plasmodium falciparum,
n People with severe malaria should be treated immediately and then transferred to a health facility where they can get full treatment and care.
n Effective diagnosis and treatment should be of good quality, affordable and available at all health facilities.
n Pregnant women in high-risk areas should be given suitable anti-malarial drugs at least twice during the second and the third trimester of pregnancy, and three times if they are also HIV positive.
n It is important to monitor how effective the treatment is and to identify any possible development of drug resistance, any adverse reactions to medicines, as well as any effects on pregnant women and on pregnancy outcomes.
The writer is a student of Bachelor of Science in Nursing University of Lahore