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Global Health Diseases in Africa Essay

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Updated: Jan 21st, 2021

Cutaneous Leishmaniasis

Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a skin infection, which denotes the commonest kind of leishmaniasis that affects mankind. It is caused by sandflies; twenty species of protozoan parasites (spread through the bites of sandflies) are known to cause the disease (Faber, Hay, & Naafs, 2012). Cutaneous leishmaniasis is typified by painless skin ulcers normally on uncovered parts like the face. After three to six months lesions mend but leave depigmented retracted cicatrices. Skin lesions could turn chronic and may be disabling when many lesions arise. Leishmaniasis is the 6th greatest problem affecting children in Sub-Saharan Africa. It affected more than 291,000 male children and 292,000 female children. The greatest problem lies with children from five to fourteen years of age. In the greatly endemic regions, children younger than ten years of age are affected (Paz, Doumbia, Keita, & Sethi, 2011).

In Sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia is the greatest hit by cutaneous leishmaniasis. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a greatly neglected disease that has zoonotic cycles. The prevalence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in most of the endemic Sub-Saharan African regions ranges from 0.1 percent to 1 percent. Because the cure that succeeds for a given form of leishmanias might fail to succeed for a different one, I think it would be beneficial to seek the guidance of a regional medicine expert. Nearly every existing treatment alternative is noxious with considerable side effects. Though localized cutaneous leishmaniasis responds suitably to treatment, diffuse and mucosal cutaneous leishmaniasis forms are hard to treat (Paz et al., 2011).


About two decades ago, the challenge of tuberculosis in Africa drew slight consideration. I think this could partly be attributed to the fact that tuberculosis prevalence was low and decreasing in the majority of the regions. However, with HIV/AIDS increase in the Sub-Saharan African region, it wreaked havoc. I believe that HIV/AIDS revitalized diseases like tuberculosis, which had not posed a considerable danger to humans’ health for a long period. The prevalence of tuberculosis and HIV across the globe is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa (Barter, Agboola, Murray, & Bärnighausen, 2012). I believe tuberculosis in Sub-Saharan Africa is propagated by poverty, warfare, and HIV; consequently, children in this area face a great impact of tuberculosis infection. The diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in children present significant difficulties in the epoch of the HIV epidemic.

Some of the symptoms of tuberculosis encompass coughing, weakening, weight loss, chest pains, and poor appetite (Zetola et al., 2014). In 2013, 80,000 children lost their lives from tuberculosis and 29% were from Sub-Saharan Africa (Zetola et al., 2014). Children are commonly infected with mycobacterium tuberculosis due to the transmission from a grown-up that has the smear-positive disease. I think that it is hard to diagnose tuberculosis in children, as they seldom produce the phlegm required for the examination. About 12% of all registered cases across Sub-Saharan Africa are children below the age of 15 years (Zetola et al., 2014). Notwithstanding the challenges encountered, I believe the treatment of tuberculosis in children could be greatly enhanced through better execution of readily accessible interventions.

Hepatitis B

The infection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global medical challenge and can cause intense or chronic cirrhosis, hepatitis, and malignant hepatoma. HBV infections are greatly common in Sub-Saharan Africa with the overall hepatitis B surface antigen carrier level in the region being five to twenty percent, which is among the highest across the globe. Though perinatal infections occur, the majority of infection is horizontal amid babies and young children where the greater part of infections happen from six months to pre-school age (five-six years). By ten years of age, ninety percent of children are infected, and twenty percent develop chronic infections (Howell, Lemoine, & Thursz, 2014). Therefore, I believe the traditional perception of high-risk groups is of little significance in Sub-Saharan Africa, and every child ought to be considered being at risk. Hepatitis B-related malignant hepatoma is perhaps the commonest tumor in children in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Mozambique has the greatest prevalence rate.

The interactions involving viruses and hosts establish the result of hepatitis B virus infection (Apata et al., 2014). Asymptomatic HBV infection in children is more widespread, particularly in babies and young children. In symptomatic HBV infection, the prodromic symptoms such as fever, nausea, loss of appetite, uneasiness, and vomiting could last for days or weeks and sometimes cause jaundice. In Sub-Saharan Africa, I think the most effective manner of managing hepatitis B infection, would be the incorporation of neonatal vaccination programs within immunization programs devoid of prior assessment for hepatitis B virus markers.


Faber, W. R., Hay, R. J., & Naafs, B. (Eds.). (2012). Imported skin diseases. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Paz, C., Doumbia, S., Keita, S., & Sethi, A. (2011). Cutaneous leishmaniasis in Mali. Dermatologic clinics, 29(1), 75-78.

Zetola, N. M., Macesic, N., Modongo, C., Shin, S., Ncube, R., & Collman, R. G. (2014). Longer hospital stay is associated with higher rates of tuberculosis-related morbidity and mortality within 12 months after discharge in a referral hospital in Sub-Saharan Africa. BMC infectious diseases, 14(1), 409.

Barter, D. M., Agboola, S. O., Murray, M. B., & Bärnighausen, T. (2012). Tuberculosis and poverty: The contribution of patient costs in sub-Saharan Africa–a systematic review. BMC public health, 12(1), 1-21.

Apata, I. W., Averhoff, F., Pitman, J., Bjork, A., Yu, J., Amin, N. A., & Marfin, A. (2014). Progress toward prevention of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection-sub-Saharan Africa, 2000-2011. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 63(29), 613-619.

Howell, J., Lemoine, M., & Thursz, M. (2014). Prevention of materno‐foetal transmission of hepatitis B in Sub‐Saharan Africa: The evidence, current practice, and future challenges. Journal of viral hepatitis, 21(6), 381-396.

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