Malaria is one of the oldest sicknesses that has been in existence for a long time in Nigeria especially in Africa and they don’t seem to have solution for it despite the continuous intervention by World Health Organisation, WHO and other international donor agencies.
However, for those who don’t know what Malaria is, it is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
It is preventable and curable. The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 627 000 as at 2020.
The malaria parasites of humans are thought to have evolved in tropical Africa from 2.5 million to 30 million years ago (P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae are among the oldest of the group).
Every year, some 650,000 people around the world die from malaria, and a further 200 million are infected. Malaria is a deadly disease partly because of protein ‘hooks’ that the malaria parasite uses to cling on to the inside of human blood vessels, leaving the body unable to get rid of it.
Malaria occurs mostly in poor, tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Africa is the most affected due to a combination of factors: A very efficient mosquito (Anopheles gambiae complex) is responsible for high transmission.
In Africa, especially Nigeria, Malaria is caused by stagnant water especially drainage or water that have been left for months. Mosquitoes are bred in such waters and from there they start attacking people in that area especially those from poor homes.
Malaria transmission in the United States was eliminated in the early 1950s with the use of insecticides, drainage ditches and the incredible power of window screens. But the mosquito-borne disease has staged a comeback in American hospitals as travelers return from parts of the world where malaria runs rampant.
Also in 1955, Chinese authorities launched the National Malaria Control Programme, NMCP, which promoted the use of insecticide sprays, improved irrigation and case-detection and increased the provision of anti-malarial treatments. Though simple, these measures helped achieve steady progress in the country.
However, malaria vaccine was produced to prevent malaria. The only approved vaccine, as of 2021, is RTS,S, known by the brand name Mosquirix. Despite the vaccine, many people are still being attacked by malaria.
Meanwhile, apart from vaccine, malaria sickness can be prevented according to the WHO by the use of mosquito nets. The WHO and other donor agencies annually donate nets to countries in Africa for free but in Nigeria, the people don’t get the nets.
The nets are sold in the traffic to people who can afford it for as much as N1,500 (naira) while the poor who need it the most and who are disturbed by mosquitoes don’t have access to it because they cannot afford it hence the continuous rise of malaria and death in Nigeria.
With additional information