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World Malaria Day: The Melodious Mosquito and the Malady of Malaria

World Malaria Day: The Melodious Mosquito and the Malady of Malaria
Posted April 25, 2022 | Category Medical and Health Journalism

Ibraheem Olasunkanmi Qoseem,
Ilorin
 
In malaria endemic regions such as African, the presence of mosquitoes is a common sight just as the irritating sound which they make when scavenging for a blood meal. The sound has been sarcastically described as melodious by those whose sleep has been murdered frequently by tiny insect.
 
 In Countries like Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and United Republic of Tanzania with highest burden of malaria cases  and death globally, virtually all citizens have experienced the irritating 
 
Malaria is a serious life threatening disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. 
 
The key players in this mileu are three: The Plasmodium, mosquito and man. Plasmodium is a microorganism that causes malaria fever while mosquito is a fly that harbours the plasmodium and spreads it with every bite on a man. Lastly human beings are the hosts and sufferers of the affliction of plasmodium and mosquito. The suffering is called malaria fever.
 
The disease is not just coming by. It has been around for centuries. It infected our ancestors and still affecting the current generation. It was first described by Alphonse Laveran, a military doctor in France's Service de Santé des Armées (Health Service of the Armed Forces) in the military hospital Constantine (Algeria), in the year 1880. 
 
According to the available data by World Health Organization, there are estimated 241 millions cases and 647 000 death globally; in which Africa accounted for 95-percent and 94-percent of malaria and death cases respectively, with the larger percentage being traceable to four different countries- Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and United Republic of Tanzania.
 
Beyond the rhetorics of academics, I am sure you can relate well with this subject by what you have experienced or what you see around. Remember those days you or a loved one  went down with malaria
 
Although malaria has no respect for age, colour, sex and status, those commonly predisposed to the disease are children, especially those under the age of five, the pregnant women and aged people due to their less competent immune system. Others are people who have AA genotypes and those with immune-depressing medical conditions such as Diabetes.
 
Despite being one of the oldest diseases, it still remains a huge challenge to scientists. Although, there was a breakthrough in the late 2021, for the discovery of RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine, it is still not yet uhuru until the vaccine gets rolled out and malaria cases rolled back 2030 as projected by United Nation
 
While we wait for the miracle of vaccine, we must keep doing the following:
 
One, we must ensure good environmental hygiene. Mosquitoes amply proliferate in dirty environments. We must be responsible by inculcating the habbit of continuous personal and environmental sanitation.
 
 Two, we must stop selling the distributed treated insecticide-treated nets or abusing them for non medical purpose. 
 
Three, any suspected case of malaria should not be handled with over-the-counter drugs or undiagnosed treatment because symptoms may be confused with other disease as such one may be using antimalarial drug to treat bacterial disease(typhoid fever) which may in turn lead to antibiotics resistance.
 
Fourth, the use of insecticide and collaborating with neighbours to fumigate homes.
 
 Fifth, complying with the treatment regimen prescribed by care provider and approaching centres for vaccinations is a headway to protecting our health.
 
 Lastly, anyone with innovative solutions to bring new vector control approach and effective medicine should come on board to rescue our world of malaria disease.  Until then, the sad melody and the malady continues

Edited by Dr Solomon Chollom

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