Essay It is Still Killing: The Contunued Prevalence of Malaria

Essay It is Still Killing: The Contunued Prevalence of Malaria

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“It is still killing,” These are the words of Dr. Margaret Chan, the head of the World Health Organization; The wing of the United Nations tasked with directing and coordinating on international health work. - Dr. Chan made this comment during a recent televised trip to the east African country of Ethiopia where there has been an increase in the Malaria infection rate. It is estimated that 300 million people are affected by malaria, and also less than one percent of the 300 million affected people die, there are still an estimated 1.5 million deaths recorded per year. With the exception of tuberculosis, Malaria claims more lives than any other transmissible disease. In Africa and other developing countries, Malaria accounts for millions of dollars spent in medical related costs. Malaria, conversely, is a curable disease when it is promptly diagnosed and efficiently treated. While Malaria was one of the first infectious diseases to be successfully treated with a drug, scientists are still looking for a reliable vaccination and subsequent cure (Cann, 1996). Malaria is a contagious disease caused by mosquitoes that develops in humans and other animals.Malaria is caused by the elusive plasmodium parasite. Ordinarily, the disease is transmitted when an infected female anopheles mosquito bites a person. (Fagan, 2000). When a female anopheles’ mosquito bites a human, she injects saliva-like fluid which prevents blood fimbriation, the process by which blood clots. This keeps the wound open thus keeps the host bleeding which ensures her ability to drink from then victim. When the vector injects her saliva into the human, it also injects a percentage of her sporozoite loads. Once in the bloodstream, the plasmodium parasite travels to the li...

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...of hosts ranging from monkeys to reptiles. It is thus necessary to look at all of these aspects when assessing the possibility of producing a vaccine. (Global Health - Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, 2012, p. 2-3)
According to Dr.Paul Henri Lambert, a researcher and retired professor with the Centre of Vaccinology at University of Geneva, while no single individual can claim discovery of malaria, records indicate that the malaria infection has been around for longer than most of us can fathom. It is thought that although the parasite accountable for the deadly P. falciparum malaria has been in existence for anywhere between 60, 000 to 110,000 years. However during this period there was no significant increase in the parasites’ population size until about 10,000 years ago, this increase was concurrently with advances in agriculture. (Lambert, 2003, p. 1-3)

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