Data obtained by the World Health Organization show that approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. Most cases and fatalities due to malaria ensue in Africa on the southern side of the Sahara. But parts of Latin America and Asia are also affected As well as parts of Europe and the Middle East. In 2013, a total of 98 countries and other small states had a presence of continuous malaria infections.
Specific population risk groups include: Non-Immune Pregnant women, Young Children, Semi-immune pregnant women, People with HIV/AIDS. (WHO, Malaria.2013, 1-6).
According to the WHO; Young children who live in areas of high transmission but have yet to developed protective immunity against the most severe forms of the disease; Non-immune pregnant women are also susceptible to the disease as malaria causes high rates of miscarriage The same for Semi-immune pregnant women in areas of high transmission. Malaria can cause miscarriage and low weight at birth more especially during first two pregnancies; In addition all pregnant women who are infected by HIV/AIDs are also at risk. Furthermore, Women infected with HIV/AIDS who have contracted malaria of the placenta also have a heightened risk of passing the HIV infection to their newborns. International travelers from areas that are not endemic to malaria are also at risk because they do not immunity. The same is accurate for Immigrants from endemic areas as well as their children who are living in non-endemic areas and returning are returning to their home countries. (WHO, Malaria.2013, 4-6).
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis refers to the act of determining or identifying a disease or an illness by examining someone or something. An early diagnosis and treatment of malaria reduces the spread of the disease and therefore also prevents deaths. Early diagnosis also helps in reducing malaria transmission.
At the moment, the best available treatment for malaria and particularly for the more deadly and wide spread P. falciparum malaria is the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). This is treatment that that uses mixture of Artemisia annua or its byproducts with an antimalarial drug. Artemisia annua has been used by herbalists in Chinese medicine for decades.
The WHO indorses that all cases of suspected malaria first be confirmed using parasite-based diagnostic testing before treatment is administered. During testing, parasitological confirmation can be available in less than 15 minutes. Treatment based sorely of symptoms should only be considered when a parasitological analysis is unavailable. ("WHO | Treatment", 2013, p. 2-6)
Vaccines against malaria
The World Health Organization defines a vaccine as a biological preparation that improves the ability by which an organism is able to resist disease/infections. Vaccines are made from killed forms of viruses. The vaccine works by stimulating the body’s immune system to produce antibodies. It achieves this...