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World Malaria Day - World Health Threat
April 25th - World Malaria Day
Malaria is still one of the greatest world health threats despite the great strides over the last two decades. There will be a World Malaria Day celebration on April 25th. Celebrations will happen around the world with a variety of activities to acknowledge the great progress that has occurred in the recent years.
John Hopkins Malaria Research Center will hold a two day conference that has numerous experts speaking and teaching about the complexities of this disease and what is happening in the world to irraticate this serious health threat.
HBO Special - Mary and Martha
HBO is now playing the movie "Mary and Martha", staring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn. This film is about two mothers who unite after living through traumatic events in Africa. Malaria No More and Norvartis Pharmaceuticals have sponsered this movie to increase awareness and to begin their new campaign to fight this horrid disease.
Facts on Malaria
Deaths is Africa from malaria have been reduced by one third over the last 10 years. Out of 53 countries affected by malaria, 35 have reduced their incidences of malaria by 50 percent. In addition, the mortality rate for children have decreased 20 percent, so this World Malaria Day has some very good reasons for celebration. These are remarkable statistics, although the fight is far from over as 10 percent of the world's population will be stricken this year again.
Since 91 percent of deaths occurred in the African region, much more work needs to be done. Pregnant women and children under the age of five are most often the ones that do not live through the ravages of this disease.
Symptoms for Malaria
This mosquito born disease results in a rather wide range of symptoms and degrees of illness. Some people are bitten and actually do not develop any symptoms or maybe just mild symptoms. There is always an incubation period after being bitten that lasts from seven to 30 days.
There is a mild, uncomplicated type of malaria that lasts from six to 10 hours. The symptoms are similar to having a short case of the flu, which ends in a sweat as the body temperature returns to normal.
The initial symptoms of a more serious case following the incubation period include: chills (moderate to severe), high fever, profuse sweating as the temperature falls, headaches, and vomiting.
Severe Malaria Symptoms may Include:
- Cerebral symptoms - impairment of consciousness, seizures, comas
- Severe anemia
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) - oxygen exchange is inhibited
- Blood coagulation abnormalities
- Cardiovascular collapse, low blood pressure
- Low blood glucose
- Metabolic acidosis - excessive acidiity in the blood
- Hyperparasitemia - occurs when great than ive percent of RBCs are infected.
Even after a patient recovers from an episode of malaria, it is possible that they may have addition attacks.
Prevention of Malaria
This disease occurs in 100 countries, but it is treatable and preventable. At one time it was prevelant in Europe and the United States, but using aggressive treatment and prevention it was fully eradicated it in 1951.
In developing nations, prevention consists of spraying homes with safe insecticides, using anti-malarial drugs and the use of insecticide-treated bed nets at night.
There are numerous medications available to treat malaria, but it should be treated as soon as the first symptoms are noticed. In addition to the disease treating medications, there is also primaquine. This is a medication that will kill dormant parasite liver forms to prevent a relapse.
Malaria Picture Video
Cure for Malaria
Fortunately,malaria funding has increased six-fold over the past 10 years.The World Health Organization, the Global Malaria Action Plan and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership have coordinated their international efforts in fund raising and treating the disease, The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has also been very active.
They still need more effective policies and increased funding to continue the fight. Their goals are to "control, eliminate and ultimately irradiate" this huge health threat to the world.
© 2013 Pamela Oglesby