Contracting malaria is one of the top concerns of travelers to Africa for leisure or for as ex-pats who come back for a work assignment.
Flying Doctors Nigeria has put together 5 things we think you should know about malaria.
1. Malaria = One of the oldest diseases known in human history
Guess where the parasite that transmits malaria was first found? It was found in the skeletons of ancient Egyptian mummies.
On a good note, Malaria is not a complex disease compared to HIV or Aids.
2. Malaria is a Preventable and Curable Disease
According to the WHO, the number of malaria cases has declined by 47% globally and by 54% in Africa since 2000. However, still, more than half a million lives are still lost each year to Malaria. There are problems with recurring drug-resistance to malaria treatment. Also, the accessibility to malaria treatment medications are hard to obtain for those who really need it.
3. Drug-Resistant Malaria is a Recurring Issue
Parasites that spread Malaria are becoming resistant to medicines used to treat it. Therefore, making the disease even more difficult to treat. Malaria is becoming resistant to medicine due to a result of several factors.
- People do not finish their course of treatment. They stop taking the medication when they feel better.
- Poorly trained pharmacists or store owners may allow patients to buy all that they can afford. This is simply not effective method to treat Malaria.
- Lastly, there are counterfeit drugs that are being sold on the market that are completely ineffective at fighting against the parasites causing Malaria.
4. The Cost of Medicine is Expensive
The new treatments that have been developed to treat drug-resistant malaria are expensive. An adult dose of a newer drug can cost 10 to 20 times more than older anti-malarial medication. This often makes the cost of treatment unmanageable for a lot of people.
5. Strengthening Health Care Systems to Help Fight Malaria
The fight against malaria and strengthening the health care system could help improve monitoring malaria outbreaks before they happen, provide better training to health care staff who can deliver better diagnosis and treatment, and allow greater education outreach activities on preventative methods for everyone.
We hope you found these 5 things about Malaria to be helpful.
Did you learn something new? Let us know in the comments down below.