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Human Diseases: Exploring Malaria Essay

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2022

Introduction

A disease can be termed as a foreign particle that is harmful to people’s health. Is therefore defined as any abnormal medical condition that tempers with bodies of living things. Human diseases are infections that interfere or tamper with the normal functioning of the body of any human being. These human diseases are many and they are categorized into different groups according to their causal organism whereby we have viral diseases, bacterial diseases, protozoan diseases and waterborne diseases. These diseases have different signs and symptoms that help physicians to identify the meaning that from their signs and symptoms, doctors are able to identify the disease a person is suffering from. Most human diseases are curable while others era incurable for instance, HIV/AIDS. Some diseases like malaria and HIV/AIDS greatly threaten human life and they cause millions of deaths every year. The aim of this essay is to explore the concept of malaria as it applies to the category of human diseases (Nakaya et al 23)

Discussion

Many people in the world are aware of many human diseases. Malaria and HIV/AIDS cause many deaths in the world per year as compared to other diseases. Malaria as one of the fatal diseases is analyzed below.

Malaria

Malaria is a protozoan disease because it originates from protozoan infection. It is widely spread in the tropical and sub-tropical regions that are characterized by significant amounts of rainfall, high temperatures and high humidity. These regions are found in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas and they provide the protozoa with a good environment for breeding. Some known signs and symptoms have been used to identify the disease (malaria) that has caused a million deaths in the past years. A malaria day was set aside to review malaria control and progress made in its treatment models. Many scientists are interested in this disease and many have studied it in depth. For instance, in 2010 it was found out that 225 million cases of malaria were reported with 781,000 of the victims dying. These deaths were estimated to be 2.23% of the deaths in the world in 2010 (Nakaya et al 24).

Cause of malaria

Malaria is caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium and phylum Apicomplexa. They include P. falciparum, P.ovale, P. malaria, P. vivax and P. knowlesi and they have resulted in different species of the disease. The parasites are said to contain apicoplasts which when transferred to human beings grow inside the human body until the point when the signs and symptoms are seen. The incubation period in most cases goes for one to two weeks (Fraser and Druce 17).

Signs and symptoms of malaria

Malaria has many signs and symptoms that include, fever, shivering, joint pains, poor vision due to retinal damage, vomiting and anemia. Most of these signs and symptoms are also observed in other diseases but the classic one is the occurrence of coldness then fever that causes sweating. The sweating lasts for over four hours even when the weather is cold and the body temperature remains over 40o Celsius. Children experience abnormal posturing that is attributed to brain damage caused by the whitening of the retina. This comes to be because cerebral malaria that is highly evident in children. The whitening of the retina is a clinical sign that is mostly used by physicians. Most of these signs and symptoms are observed in 6-14 days after infection (Fraser and Druce 41).

A coma is another symptom that is said to make the body weak. The weakness in women and children is more felt and death may come easily if not treated. Victims also experience severe headaches, the urinary system fails, and a feature of black water fever and this is caused by leaking of hemoglobin from affected red blood cells to the urine. In children who have severally suffered from malaria, developmental impairments are observed (Fraser and Druce 43).

Prevention and control of Malaria

As mentioned within the context of the study, malaria as a disease is caused by a female anopheles mosquito meaning that the outbreak of malaria can be effectively reduced by the control of mosquitoes. Numerous methods have been used to control the further spread of malaria with an aim of protecting people against mosquito bites. Many researchers have however argued that the prevention methods of malaria are more expensive when compared to the treatment of the disease. Some countries have been able to control malaria through preventive methods. These countries include Brazil, Eritrea, India and Vietnam. This has been achieved because of good governance and the involvement of the community in the fight against malaria. Some programs set up in affected countries also play a key role in reducing the burden. Mosquito bites are reduced by sleeping under treated mosquito nets and this is a successful method in some nations whereby the governments distribute free nets to help curb this disease. Some international organizations are also helping the prevention of the disease by providing free mosquito nets and seminars to educate people on the prevention of the disaster. An example of these organizations is the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) which helped in the fighting of malaria in India, a country that was known to be having the highest number of deaths caused by malaria (Getahum Deribe and Deriew 1475).

Draining stagnant water, that acts as breeding grounds for the mosquito is an effective method. This method was effective when it was applied in the U.S. and southern Europe. In addition, they used DDT. In spite of the benefits, the method is costly to maintain. In Africa, people use poisons to kill the mosquitoes in the breeding grounds. Currently, people use sterile insect techniques to control malaria in many parts of the world. Scientists consider the sterile insect technique as a genetic approach that involves the creation of transgenic malaria mosquitoes. This was successful in Imperial College in London where scientists created the first transgenic mosquito (Getahum Deribe and Deriew 1478).

Treatment of malaria

Although prevention is better than cure, when the disease strikes, effective treatment has to be accorded to the victims. With proper treatment, a patient is expected to recover fully. The treatment of the disease depends on its seriousness (Fraser and Druce 57). If the condition is not worse, the patient is treated with oral drugs and where it is severe, parenteral administration of anti-malarial drugs is used. Quinine is mostly preferred in severe conditions although artesunate has shown better results and it can be used instead. In treatment, the clinicians are advised to be keen on the signs and symptoms so that they do not medicate a patient for the wrong infection (Getahum Deribe and Deriew 1481).

Conclusion

Malaria is a fatal disease and in most surveys, it comes second after HIV/AIDS. It can be treated, unlike HIV/AIDS that cannot. Some programs set by governments, NGOs play a key role in fighting malaria, and they should therefore be supported. Prevention of the disease is better than the cure because in some cases, patients die before they get any treatment. Stagnant waters should be drained and people should sleep under treated nets. The governments in affected countries should ensure that every citizen is in possession of a mosquito net. Fighting malaria is very important because malaria affects daily activities such as schooling that is necessary for development in any country.

Works cited

Fraser, Nicole and Druce, Nel. Partnerships for malaria control: engaging the formal and informal private sectors: A review. Washington, DC: World Health Organization, 2006.

Getahum, Alemayehu, Deribe, Kebede and Deriew, Amare. Determinants of delay in malaria treatment-seeking behavior for under-five children in south-west Ethiopia: a case-control study. Malaria Journal. 9(2010): 1475-2875.

Nakaya, Hara. Et al. Immunity to protozoan parasite infection: role of CARD9- mediated activation of innate immunity in anti-protozoan defense. Oxford Journal, 22(2010): 23-35.

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