Brief Description of a Disease
Dengue is a well-known epidemic disease caused by the dengue virus that may be developed as a result of an Aedes mosquito bite. The mosquito is under a threat of being infected by the virus under consideration when it bites a person. Only after it is infected, it may spread the same inflection to another person.
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People are not able to get this kind of infection by air or any other method. This is why it is possible to identify a mosquito as the only dangerous vector of the disease under analysis. As a rule, fever, skin rash, pain in muscles and joints, and headache are the most common symptoms of this disease.
On the one hand, measles may have the same symptoms, and it seems to be easy to confuse measles and dengue; on the other hand, life-threatening fever and possible bleeding should never be ignored to overcome the most unexpected and terrible outcomes.
As soon as a person suffers from fever and cannot explain the appearance of other symptoms, it is necessary to address the nearest hospital and be provided with the required portion of professional medical help.
Current Situation in Africa
It is reported that dengue fever is a type of vectorborne disease (Rolle, Pearson, & Nsubuga, 2011) that has already touched upon 34 African countries and continue spreading and influencing human health from the 1950s.
Tanzania and Kenya are the two countries, which are interested in analyzing, diagnosing, and preventing this disease. A number of African countries aim at developing special health programs that help to learn better dengue fever and its effects on people.
The Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program was offered to the citizens of Kenya and Tanzania and proved to be an effective means of educating, treating, preventing, screening, and diagnosing dengue as well as many other epidemic diseases.
Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program
General Overview and Goals
The Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) is the type of program that can help people from different African countries to build a powerful system, detect various health threats, and prevent these threats’ spreading (Mosha, Oundo, Mukanga, Njenga, & Nsubuga, 2011).
One of the goals the FELTP is to build an appropriate public health workforce capacity in order to strengthen the existing public health institutions and provide citizens with a chance to fight against such diseases like dengue fever.
It is necessary to create epidemiologic and laboratory services and focus them on particular diseases so that people can learn better the conditions under which dengue can be spread and the symptoms, which cannot be neglected. Laboratory management and its improvement is another goal that is defined by the program.
In 1998, the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa (WHO-AFRO) introduced the strategy by means of which the assessment of strong and weak points of the existing public health system was conducted (Mmbuji, Mukanga, Mghamba, Ahly, Mosha, Azima, & Senga, 2011).
Still, the assessment has proved that the system was not perfect, and it was decided to create a program that helped the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to collect and analyze data about different epidemic disease and inform people about the most crucial changes and preventive methods.
The program was established in 2008. Its representatives demonstrate their best abilities in managing and evaluating disease control and developing preventive programs available for people regardless their financial and social status (Mmbuji et al., 2011).
Taking into consideration such factors like rapid population growth, unplanned urbanization, and even a constantly increasing rate of travelling, it is possible to predict that the spread of such diseases like dengue may be dramatically dangerous to the citizens of Africa as well as for the citizens of other regions.
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People have to know more about the current situation in the country and the threats spread by such small but dangerous insects like mosquitoes.
This is why the FELTP representatives admit the necessity to involve more people in their activities and think about any possible means to spread information and support the Ministry in their intentions to improve the current public health system.
It is possible by means of additional sponsors’ search, development of special education programs, and promotion of preventive means via the Internet.
In general, it has been proved by a number of cases that people are usually not bothered by a particular problem in case it does not bother them. Unfortunately, such attitude to the reality decreases the level of life and proves the egocentric intentions of a society.
This is why people have to think about each other and offer their support if they can. FELTP is a successful example of how a group of people may influence the general state of affairs and improve the work of a particular African ministry.
The chosen program offers a number of changes that can be used to decrease the speed of spreading dengue fever and help people to define the most appropriate treatment and preventive methods.
Karimuribo, E.D., Mboera, L.E.G., Mbugi, E., Simba, A., Kivaria, F.M., Mmbuji, P., & Rweyemamu, M.M. (2011). Are we prepared for emerging and re-emerging diseases? Experience and lessons from epidemics that occurred in Tanzania during the last five decades. Tanzania Journal of Health Research, 13(1). doi: https://www.ajol.info/index.php/thrb/article/view/72121
Mmbuji, P., Mukanga, D., Mghamba, J., Ahly, M., Mosha, F., Azima, S., & Senga, S. (2011). The Tanzania Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: Building and transforming the public health workforce. PanAfrican Medical Journal, 10(1), 9.
Mosha, F., Oundo, J., Mukanga, D., Njenga, K., & Nsubuga, P. (2011). Public health laboratory systems development in East Africa through training in laboratory management and field epidemiology. PanAfrican Medical Journal, 10(1), 14.
Rolle, I.V., Pearson, M.L., & Nsubuga, P. (2011). Fifty-five years of international epidemic-assistance investigations conducted by CDC’s disease detectives. American Journal of Epidemiology, 174(11), 97-112.