Malaria is commonly transmitted by mosquitoes which has a free breeding environment in Africa including Nigeria. According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, 438,000 deaths from malaria occurred in 2014 and that more than two thirds (70 percent) of all malaria deaths are to children under 5, even though malaria is a preventable, treatable disease. Many Nigerians often take malaria for granted and would totally ignore every symptoms. \it is important know all you need to know about the disease, INFORMATION NIGERIA in this piece brings you 10 interesting facts about it…
– Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites that are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquito vectors. Of the 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, Plasmodium falciparum is the most deadly.
– Malaria breeds mostly in warmer climates, where there is an abundance of humidity and rain.
– Approximately 3.2 billion people are at risk of malaria. In 2015, there were an estimated 214 million malaria cases and some 438 000 malaria deaths. Young children, pregnant women and non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas are particularly vulnerable to the disease when they become infected.
– In areas with high transmission of malaria, children under 5 are particularly susceptible to infection, illness and death. More than two thirds (70%) of all malaria deaths occur in this age group. In 2015, about 305 000 African children died before their fifth birthdays.
– Increased malaria prevention and control measures are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places. Since 2000, malaria mortality rates have fallen globally by 60% among all age groups, and by 65% among children under 5.
– Parasite resistance to artemisinin, the core compound in WHO-recommended combination treatments for uncomplicated malaria, has been detected in 5 countries of south east Asia: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. However, artemisinin-based combination therapies remain effective in almost all settings, as long as the partner drug in the combination is locally effective.
– Long-lasting insecticidal nets provide personal protection against mosquito bites. They can be used as protection for people most at risk of malaria, such as young children and pregnant women in high malaria transmission areas. The nets are effective for 2-3 years, depending on the model and conditions of use. Between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of children sleeping under an insecticide-treated net in sub-Saharan Africa increased from less than 2% to approximately 68%.
– The full potential of indoor residual spraying is obtained when at least 80% of houses in targeted areas are sprayed. Indoor spraying with insecticides kills the mosquito vector and is effective for 3–6 months, depending on the insecticide used and the type of surface on which it is sprayed. Longer-lasting forms of insecticides are under development.
– Pregnant women are at high risk of dying from the complications of severe malaria. Malaria is also a cause of spontaneous abortion, premature delivery, stillbirth and severe maternal anaemia, and is responsible for about one third of preventable low-birth-weight babies. For pregnant women living in moderate-to-high transmission areas, WHO recommends intermittent preventive treatment at each scheduled antenatal visit after the first trimester.
– In high-burden settings, malaria can trap families and communities in a downward spiral of poverty, disproportionately affecting marginalized and poor people who cannot afford treatment or who have limited access to health care.
– Malaria can kill within 24 hours of symptom onset
– It can infect an African child up to 13 times a year
– It costs Africa USD 12-30 billion in lost GDP every year
– It accounts for 40% of all public health spending in Africa
We hope you have learned a thing or two???