The Impacts of Malaria

The Impacts of Malaria
Approximately 300 million people are affected worldwide by malaria and between 1 and 1.5 million people die from it every year. Malaria is now mainly confined to Africa, Asia and Latin America having previously been widespread across the world. The problems of controlling malaria in these countries are heightened due to insufficient health structures and poor socioeconomic conditions. The situation has become more complicated over the last few years with the increase in resistance to the drugs normally used to combat the parasite that causes the disease. Malaria is a serious, parasitic infection that is spread by the bite of certain mosquitoes. A parasite is an organism that survives by living inside a larger organism, called a host. Malaria is spread in three ways. The most common is by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. However, malaria can also be spread through a transfusion of infected blood or by sharing a needle with an infected person. There are four different species of parasites that cause malaria. They are: n the Plasmodium falciparum (which is the most fatal) n P. vivax, n P. malariae, and n P. ovale. When an infected mosquito bites a person, the parasites enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver. They multiply in the liver, and then travel back into the blood, where they continue to grow and multiply so quickly that they clog blood vessels and rupture blood cells. When the red blood cells burst, the parasites are released and then attack other red blood cells. Malaria is not contagious, which means one person cannot pass it directly to another. However, if a mosquito that is not infected bites an infected person, it picks up the malaria parasites. In likeness to Aids, the malaria virus can be in your body for up to several months before the initial symptoms develop. Most people survive a bout of malaria after a 10-20 day illness, but it is important to spot the symptoms early. The first is high fever, followed a few hours later by chills. Two to four days later, this cycle is repeated. The most serious forms of the disease can affect the kidneys and brain and can cause anaemia, coma and death. Anyone living in or travelling to an area of the world where malaria is more commonly transmitted can get this disease. It is more common in tropical climates, such as Central and South America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania. Malaria is considered ?endemic? to these regions, which means it is native to these areas. Small outbreaks are also possible in countries that are not endemic but this is very rarely a major problem. In terms of Age, children are most badly affected by Malaria. This is due to developing immunities and bodily systems so there is not enough strength to fight the disease off. In southern Tanzania up to 80% of the children are infected with the disease by the age of six months and 4% of children die due to Malaria. In terms of Gender, it tends to be women who are the main sufferers if Malaria. In general, these women are pregnant. Also travellers and refugees are especially vulnerable to the disease. Economically, it is the poorer population who suffer from the disease. Malaria exists in certain areas and these tend to be those of less affluent population. Therefore the mosquitoes have a greater number of people to infect and the disease is spread with more ease. Also they cannot afford the medicine to rectify the problem or at least reduce its effects. [image] This image on the previous page shows the malaria situation of present. It shows that Malaria is a growing problem in Europe while it is the biggest single cause of Death in Africa. However in Asia Malaria is becoming an unsustainable problem as drug-resistant strains have spread so medicine is ineffective leading to greater risk of death. [image] This map shows the distribution of Malaria on a global scale. As seen on the map the majority of infected countries are LEDC?s and also lie between the tropics. The map suggests that most infected areas are spread across equatorial areas, leading to suggestions of the climate that best supports the spread of the disease. Also the disease?s impacts are most severe in African areas. After years spent bringing the disease under control, the number of people dying from malaria is now higher than it was 30 years ago and has spread to new countries. Although it is mainly a disease of tropical and sub-tropical countries, malaria has been identified in eastern European countries such as Russia and Turkey and recently a handful of cases were diagnosed in the US. This suggests that geographical distribution is increasing. However, the above map shows that the areas where problems are are places such as Africa and Asia and this has been the case since the disease was discovered. In terms of variation over time, Malaria has become more concentrated in Asian Islands and Africa than before. However in MEDC?S and elsewhere on a global scale, the amount of Malaria evident is falling. This suggests a contraction in the global distribution of the Disease. The Physical Factors that help explain the disease?s spatial location are: n There are many Major rivers in the most badly affected areas. This helps to explain as this is where Mosquitoes breed and therefore with a greater amount of large rivers, there is a greater space for breeding and therefore a larger amount of mosquitoes. The disease is therefore picked up with more ease, leading to greater spreading of the illness. n Heat is also a reason. Mosquitoes are more prevalent in Tropical areas as they require certain climates to live and breed. Therefore the countries affected, in Asia and Africa will naturally have warm climates, making optimum conditions for their survival and breeding. In terms of Human Factors: n Due to the poor state of the economy in the affected countries, there is little healthcare of support in order to reduce the affects of the disease. Also the inhabitants have poorly paid jobs and can therefore afford little in terms of medication and healthcare products. n Illiteracy is also a massive problem in these areas. This is a factor that helps explain the spatial location as there is a lack of education over the subject, and therefore little knowledge of the disease and its affects. The costs of malaria are also enormous when measured in economic terms. The long term problems are: n Highly malarious countries are among the very poorest in the world, and typically have very low rates of economic growth; many have experienced declines in living standards in the past thirty years. n Malaria has played a significant role in the poor economic performance of these countries. The evidence strongly suggests that malaria obstructs overall economic development. During the period 1965-1990, highly malarious countries suffered a growth penalty of more than one percentage point per year (compared with countries without malaria); even after taking into account the effects of economic policy and other factors that also influence economic growth. n Malaria may impede the flows of trade, foreign investment, and commerce, thereby affecting a country?s entire population. n Tourists shun regions with high malaria, as do multinational firms choosing the location of foreign investments. n Also, the economic effect of malaria on infected individuals may greatly exceed the direct costs of any single episode of the disease. n Furthermore, repeated bouts of malaria may expose individuals to chronic malnutrition and to increased vulnerability to other diseases. n Malaria substantially raises the chances of infant and child mortality. Households respond to this increased risk by having more children, thereby increasing the overall rate of population growth. n In addition, the investments which parents of many children can afford make in the well being of each child is limited? so that average levels of health care and education per child tend to be reduced. The short term affects are: n Repeated bouts of malaria tend to hinder a child?s physical and cognitive development, and may reduce a child?s attendance and performance at school. n Short term losses of workers and work time affect the businesses and individuals of the economy. In terms of wealth for the individual and production of the company. n Mothers of large numbers of children are less able to participate in the formal labour force, thereby also reducing the household income. Overall Malaria is a deadly disease. The impacts of it are huge as seen in some of the data in this report. The major problem with Malaria, is that the places that suffer from it the most, have insufficient funds to pay for the required medicine to help its population and installing health care systems. Economic problems and costs show how desperate the need for aid is in the suffering countries in Africa and Asia etc.

The Impacts of Malaria 8.4 of 10 on the basis of 700 Review.