What is Malaria

 

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by Plasmodium parasites.  The parasite infected female Anopheles mosquitos transmit Malaria to human.  When an infected mosquito bites, the Plasmodium parasites travel from the mosquito’s saliva to the person’s blood.  The parasites travel further to the human’s liver where they multiply.  The parasites also destroy human red blood cells, in a massive number, after using them as a shelter.  The patient experiences symptoms like fever, chills, nausea, headache, and body aches.  The parasite activities in human body cause abnormalities in the patient’s blood and metabolism, which can proceed to failure of organs and death if unstopped.

Fortunately, malaria is a totally preventable and a curable disease if diagnosed and treated promptly and correctly.  No one would contract malaria if not bitten by a mosquito.  Removing pooled water can reduce the number of mosquitos dramatically.  Spraying of insecticide helps reducing the number of malaria causing mosquitos.  Insecticide treated bed net provides protection against malaria.  Despite some resistance, most of the malaria patients can be cured with medicines.  Vaccines against malaria are under way.

Despite these effective ways of prevention and treatment, and despite the global effort of prominent organizations like WHO, it is sad that we are still losing about one million lives every year.  The World Health Organization estimates that each year 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million people die of malaria, especially in developing countries.  Young children and pregnant women are at especially high risk.

We have to do more that we have done so far.  Here at Malaria Network, we believe the power of collaboration.   We believe the power of sharing ideas.  We believe the power of regular people.  Let's do more.