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Malaria Essay

3084 words - 12 pages

Malaria, a fatal illness of tropical and subtropical regions, has affected the economy of South Africa for years. South Africa's policy on malaria has succeeded in curbing the growth of malaria cases. Cooperation with neighboring countries including Mozambique and Swaziland has led to a slow down of malaria outbreaks. Before we begin to discuss South Africa's policy on malaria, we need to understand the severity of this deadly disease. The disease itself is caused by four species of parasitic protozoa. The four are: Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, and Plasmodium ovale. (Faq's) Most of the malaria infections are caused by plasmodium malarie, inevitably the most dangerous. (Travel Clinic) The spread of malaria usually occurs with swarms of mosquitoes that carry the deadly disease. Symptoms are quite difficult to spot since most of the symptoms resemble influenza. (Travel Clinic) Some of the symptoms include body ache, tiredness, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, and fever. These symptoms may not be as dramatic as one thinks. Deteroration of the body may be sudden and with out warning. "A high swinging fever may develop, with marked shivering and dramatic perspiration. Complications of a serious nature, such as involvement of the kidneys or brain (cerebral malaria) may then follow."(Travel Clinic) Malaria parasites live of red blood cells, especially human blood cells. These types of parasites find mosquitoes as host, but not just any mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are from a particular genus: anopheles. (Faq's) "The worst type is caused by Plasmodium falciparum. Infection with Plasmodium falciparum kills approximately 1-2% of those who come down with it. Falciparum malaria is a serious illness characterized by fever, headache, and weakness."(Faq's) This type yet rare is mainly found in the South African region. Plasmodium malaria, which is most common, can have a recurring effect if it is not treated properly. There are many ways to try and treat victims of malaria. The use of many drugs is the method used primarily. The first known drug used was quinine. Quinine interferes with the parasites metabolism and tries to kill it off. (DOH) Another type of drug is Chloroquine . Chloriquine works similarly to quinine. Other forms of drugs include proguanil, mefloquine, and other antifolate drugs.Not only does malaria effect South Africa but it also affects other countries on the African continent. Many argue of what kills more HIV/Aids or malaria? Many of the nations in Africa agree that malaria is preventable and something needs to be done to promote that. Today, there are those who want to debate the statistics of which one kills more, malaria or HIV-AIDS. President of Nigeria, Obasanjo says, "It is no longer relevant as the two diseases have combined to form a lethal partnership that threatens the very existence of our societies. It does not have to be like this; malaria is preventable, treatable...

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