Free Essay Example: The Fight Against Malaria

Published: 2024-01-22
Free Essay Example: The Fight Against Malaria
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Medicine
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1254 words
11 min read


Malaria is a disease caused by a plasmodium parasite and transmitted from one person to another through a female Anopheles mosquito. Studies show that more than half a billion individuals get infected with malaria every year, with approximately 80% of them residing in Sub-Saharan Africa (Karunamoorthi, 2014). Many people succumb to malaria yearly, with a number of them being children below the age of five. Compared to other infectious diseases, there are many cases of death due to malaria. Although many programs have been designed to promote access to malaria treatment, the most significant way to curb the effect of malaria in the Sub-Saharan region is by reducing the number of individuals contracting the disease instead of waiting for the person to be already infected to treat the condition.

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Literature Review

According to a study conducted by Ceballos et al. (2006), the number of infected sylvatic animals is around eight villages in northwest Argentina. After community-wide insecticide spraying Triatoma infestans, a vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, densities were found to have declined since 1992 (Ceballos et al., 2006). High rates of deforestation have also cause a decline of infected sylvatic animals, especially in opossum abundance. Although a decrease in infection rates was found, it is still unclear if it is due to insecticide spraying or if it is due to deforestation lowering sylvatic animal populations. Munga et al. (2006) investigated land cover types on survivorship and productivity of Anopheles gambiae. Three land cover types were studied: farmland, forest, and natural swamp. The productivity of An. gambiae (number of the emerging adult). According to Victor et al. (2006), the human-biting rate and distribution of the mosquito Anopheles darlingi were examined. A sampling of these mosquitoes was done in 56 sites with varying degrees of deforestation (Victor et al., 2006). After controlling for human presence, it was found that An. darling in deforested areas had a biting rate that was 278 times higher than those found in forested areas (Victor et al., 2006). With regards to Yanoviak et al.'s (2006) research where phytotelmata (plant-held waters) were used to quantify the effects of deforestation on larval Wyeomyia and Limatus spp. Mosquitoes (Yanoviak et al., 2006). New clearings and cultivated lands with water-filled plant axils such as pineapple and plantain were characterized by higher volumes of colonizable phytotelm water—Wyeomyia spp. I prefer plant axils while Limatus spp. Prefer fallen-plant-part phytotelmata as their habitat. As more deforestation takes place, more habitat availability is provided to these species of mosquitoes. Although informative, this study lacks the information needed to fully understand the biology of these taxa, such as predator distribution.

Effective Malaria Treatment

Several drugs are used for treating malaria, and plenty of the drugs serve well and save lives. Still, eradicating malaria programs focusing a lot on them and not on the prevention measures haven't borne many fruits in the Sub-Saharan region. WHO's Global Malaria Eradication Programme was the captain program combatting malaria, which commenced in 1955, intending to eliminate malaria in Africa in ten years, focusing on vector control (Karunamoorthi, 2014). This entailed widespread chloroquine and spraying of large amounts of DDT where billions of money were used. WHO, however, in 1969 admitted that the program did not manage to eradicate malaria after suffering from many challenges as there was an increase of over 10% of people who had died of malaria and those who had contracted the disease while the program was still active (Karunamoorthi, 2014).

The main reason for the project's downfall was the setting of uniform strategies and guidelines. The program did not manage to be successful. It would have been as it failed to consider disparities between geography, governments, and infrastructure simply because many African nations do not have the funds to send doctors to all their people to get shots. Neither do they afford to clear wetlands nor other malaria-infested areas. Sub-Saharan Africa can't simply depend on a strategy entailing more infrastructure, expertise, and money than their capabilities. Furthermore, there is plaguing of drug-resistant parasites in the Sub- Saharan Africa as a result of the widespread of chloroquine as it was inconsistently used widely thus making the mosquitoes develop resistance, therefore, chloroquine is now almost completely futile in Sub Saharan region with not less than 95% of mosquitoes resilient to it (Karunamoorthi, 2014).

Programs should consider focusing on infection prevention in the first place rather than developing plans to treat malaria after the infection has occurred. This plan is more effective and cheaper, reduces the number of people contracting malaria, and minimizes the loss of work or school days, which can also lower the productivity of the region. Consequently, one of the most effective and cheapest ways of preventing malaria is implementing insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), which will provide a protective barrier around the people or persons utilizing them. (Mahmoudi & Keshavarz, 2017). Although untreated nets can still help, those insecticide-treated nets are much more productive because they stop mosquitoes from biting people through the traps. They help reduce mosquito populations in a community helping individuals who don't even own bed nets. Transmission of malaria can be decreased by as much as 90% in areas where ITNs are widespread. Because money is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa, the low cost is a big benefit and the main reason the program is successful. It costs roughly 2 USD to make bed nets and can last several years and protect two adults. Studies have proven that more nets are being used for every 100-1000; one less child succumbs to malaria. Therefore, an effort should be made to distribute the ITNs among communities accompanied by educati22qaon on their use to ensure their proper utilization. Reducing the number of people who contract malaria would also reduce Africa's poverty levels significantly, thus improving other aspects of society like education levels and the economy. Vector control is more effective than treatment strategies because it results in fewer people getting sick, and this the working population is stronger as a whole.


Ceballos, L. A., M. V. Cardinal, G. M. Vazquez-Prokopec, M. A. Lauricella, M. M. Orozco, R. Cortinas, A. G. Schijman, M. J. Levin, U. Kitron and R. E. Gurtler. 2006. Long-term reduction of Trypanosoma cruzi infection in sylvatic mammals following deforestation and sustained vector surveillance in northwest Argentina. ACTA Tropica 98:286-296.

Karunamoorthi, K. (2014). Malaria vaccine: a future hope to curtail the global malaria burden. International journal of preventive medicine, 5(5), 529.

Mahmoudi, S., & Keshavarz, H. (2017). Efficacy of phase 3 trial of RTS, S/AS01 malaria vaccine: the need for an alternative development plan. Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics, 13(9), 2098-2101.

Munga, S., N. Minakawa, G. Zhou, E. Mushinzimana, O. J. Barrack, A. K. Githeko, and G. Yan. 2006. Association between land cover and habitat productivity of malaria vectors in western Kenyan highlands. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 74(1):69-75.

Victor, A. Y., Gilman, R. H., Tielsch, J., Glass, G., Shields, T. I. M., Lozano, W. S., ... & Patz, J. A. (2006). The effect of deforestation on the human-biting rate of Anopheles darlings, the primary vector of falciparum malaria in the Peruvian Amazon. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene, 74(1), 3-11.

Yanoviak, S. P., J. E. R. Paredes, L. P. Lounibos, and S. C. Weaver. 2006. Deforestation alters phytotelm habitat availability and mosquito production in the Peruvian Amazon. Ecological Applications 16(5):1854-1864.

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