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Malariaawareness

However,in tropical or equatorial regions malaria is a major diseaseespecially for young children. In Africa alone apart from medicalinadequacy, malaria is the most common killer of children below theage of five. Unfortunately, many of these countries have a low percapita income. This translates into multiple deaths for children.

Malariaalso called plasmodium, falciparum malaria, Blackwater fever,biduoterian fever, and tertian malaria is one of the commoninfectious and most common in the world and mostly in Africa. Thespecies that causes the greatest illness and death in Africa isP.falciparun. Malaria is caused by blood parasites transmitted fromone person to person through the bites of infected mosquitoes. In theabsence and effective treatment, malaria often causes deathespecially on pregnant mothers and small children. The African regionaccounts for 85% of malaria cases and 90% of malaria deathsworldwide. 85% of deaths occurs in children under the age of fiveyears. And in every second a child dies out of this deadly disease.Malaria episodes in pregnant women cause anemia, and othercomplications in the mother and newborn child (World HealthOrganization, 2008).

Malaria,which comes from the Italian “bad air” has had the tropical andsub-tropical region of the world in its grips of a thousand year andhas clearly influenced human development there. The World HealthOrganization (WHO) estimates that over 200 million people contractthis febrile disease every year, which is primarily transmitted bymosquitoes of the genus anopheles.

Let’stry and have a broad idea how this disease cycle. Human beings serveas intermediate hosts to the pathogen, a parasite of the genusPlasmodium. The final host is the mosquito. After the infectedmosquito bites, the pathogen moves to the liver of its human host, Inthis first stage, it matures and multiplies there before spreadingthroughout the bloodstream and ultimately attaching to the receptormolecules of red blood cells. After further growth, it triggers theperiodic fever typical of malaria from thing the blood of the humanhost. The cycle of this fever is 48 to 72 hours in duration,depending on which the type of pathogen is involved.

Someof the pathogens develop further into their primary sexual form, thegametocytes. If a mosquito then bites the infected person again, ittakes up these gametocytes, which mature into new pathogens insidethe mosquito and are soon ready to spread new infection through issaliva. A minimum temperature of 15 degrees Celsius is required forthe cycle inside the mosquito. This is why malaria primarily occursin tropical areas of South America, Asia and Africa

Takingthe lives of more than one million people each year, the malariaepidemic largely affects population in sub-Saharan Africa. Accordingto the Ugandan ministry of health, malaria currently poses the mostsignificant threat of the health of the {Ugandan} population. Betweentwenty-five and forty percent of the outpatient visits at the healthfacilities in the country are for malaria For Ugandan children,malaria is the primary cause of death. Pregnant women, the elderly,and the HIV-positive individuals are also extremely vulnerable to thedisease.

Itis therefore more important to pursue new research and create newcompound portfolios, such as the one being developed by thenon-profit organization (Medicines for Malaria Venture) MMV with thesupport of Merck Serono, MMV sees its primary objective asdiscovering, developing, and making available new treatments formalaria, and also new medicines to protect vulnerable populations,particularly small children and expectant mothers. Ugandan governmenthas gone extra mile to help its citizen and world at large by havingdifferent project to help fight and have a healthy nation with thehelp of partners in the field like , Uganda Village Project (UVP) hasidentified the following core programmatic areas of focus. {Healthyvillages} this initiative unifies UVP’s various health projects andadvocacy work to provide rural health care and promote public healthon a village level. Through community organization and mobilization,this approach target the primary health risks of the region toproviding education, training and appropriate intervention to VillageHealth Team members, health center workers, local community leaders,and the general population.

UVPas approaches to safe waters sources maximizes community ownershipand minimizes the need for external funding. It has been highlysuccessful in meeting the pressing needs for water in Iganga districtaccording to UVP

“In2013, Pilgrim Africa and the Ugandan Ministry of Health are workinghard to pursue malaria control more aggressively than ever before,and to see nationalscale-upbecome a reality. In order for that to happen, the general level ofawareness about the gravity of the disease, and what can be done toeffectively combat it, needs to be raised. Last fall, Hon. Dr.Christine Ondo, Uganda’s Minister of Health and her colleague inParliament, Hon. Timothy Lwanga, the Chair of the ParliamentaryBudget Committee, traveled to the US and spoke passionately about theneed for national scale up of malaria control in Uganda.”(PilgrimAfrica, 2013).

Pilgrimis a Seattle based non-profit based organization that works closelywith other non-governmental organizations and government agencies inmany African countries. In Uganda, the specific country for thisawareness project, the organization works closely with the Uganda’sministry of health especially through the UVP.

Thisawareness project will be guided by the following research problems:the main needs of implementing awareness control programs in Uganda,the historical and current barriers to effective implementation ofmalaria control programs, and the strategies and resources availableand needed for effective awareness. To just give a short overviewUganda is a country located in east Africa bordered by Kenya,Tanzania, Rwanda, democratic republic of Congo, southern Sudan, andSudan. It is approximately 236,036 square kilometers in size. As of2005, 63% of Ugandans lived in high malaria transmission zones whileonly around 12% lived in low or unstable malaria transmission zones(Uganda ministry of health, 2006). The country has around 80districts with agriculture being the main sector of the economy. Thecountry’s official language is English, but a local dialect“Luganda” is predominantly used by the people. The country has aliteracy level of 70% (Outreach Uganda, 2009).

Thefight against malaria has been a key part of the Uganda government’spush to improve health since independence. However, this process hasbeen hampered by corruption, and coupe-de-tats. Fortunately with thehelp of non-governmental organizations the Uganda ministry of healthhas boosted the fight against malaria especially after 2008. Throughthe formation of UVP, the government with other partners has beenable to localize the fight of malaria to the districts in order tomake it easier to increase awareness on transmission, prevention,diagnosis, and treatment of malaria.

Creatingawareness on the disease is the leading instrument in prevention andcontrol. This is because once people are aware about the causes,prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease it becomes easierfor them to be able to protect themselves from contracting thedisease. Malaria control received little attention from thegovernment’s ministry of health until the creation of the malariacontrol unit (MCU) in 1995. Thus in the earlier years control wasmainly left to clinical treatment especially using chloroquine.

Interventionprograms

Sincethe purpose of this awareness is to look at the effects of malaria inUganda and evaluate ways of reducing as much as possible the impactof the disease on the population, it is important to evaluatedifferent ways through which this information can reach all peoplefrom the urban centers to the rural areas. Since the purpose is notto eradicate or to eliminate malaria our aim is to reduce malariaprevalence by 60% through village projects.

Thiswill concentrate on vector control, case management, preventionthrough use of anti-malarial drugs by vulnerable populations, publiccampaigns, and finally demonstration. Vector control is the main wayof controlling malaria. This is because if you prevent contactbetween the vectors and humans then you can reduce malaria incidencesfor up to 75%. There are various ways that this awareness will helpto reduce contact between humans and the mosquitoes. This willinvolve community and individual programs of destroying breedingsites for the mosquitoes, insecticide spraying of houses, and use ofinsecticide treated nets. Through such efforts it will be easy tocontrol malaria incidence by up to 75%.

Casemanagement will involve the proper diagnosis and treatment of malaria(Kakai, et al, 2011). This will be done in make-shift camps,dispensaries, hospitals, mobile clinics, and trained social workers. Unfortunately sometimes poor diagnosis can lead to laboratory workersconfusing malaria with typhoid, cholera, and dengue fever, especiallywhere the transmitting vector is not known. To control malariaeffectively through the use of case management, there is need forproper and correct diagnosis and treatment of malaria. In case thediagnosis and treatment is incorrect the results can be fatalespecially if caused by P. falciparum.Treatmenthelps to eliminate the “parasite” component of the cycle thusinterrupting transmission.

Anotherprocess we shall use is that of giving anti-malaria drugs tovulnerable populations such as pregnant women, people with lowimmunity, and infants. This will be localized to village clinics,social centers, and other health care providers. Although this doesnot prevent mosquito bites which are the main transmission mechanism,anti-malarial drugs help by eliminating parasites from the humanbody.

Theother aspect of awareness is public or health education. This willinvolve public rallies especially in remote areas where literacylevels are very low and access to national media is limited. Throughthese campaigns the communities will be educated on how best they canprevent malaria. However, because these areas have low disposableincomes it will be necessary to provide the residents withinsecticide treated nets, house sprays, personal testing andtreatment kits, as well as partnering with volunteers to help theircommunities. These volunteers will need to be trained and supervisedin order to ensure that they practice each and every activity withprecision.

Lastlybut definitely not least there is need to conduct district-widedemonstration programs. These will be conducted through the UVP’sin order to ensure that all areas of the country are coveredadequately.

Expectedchallenges

Toconduct this awareness there are several challenges that will befaced. In the first place poor state of rural roads will underminethese efforts especially in localities where medical equipments andfacilities are inadequate. Second, illiteracy and ignorance willstill challenge this process because some people will just notlisten, or fail to implement the programs. Religious doctrinesespecially in areas where people do not believe in medical treatmentwill also hamper the success of this awareness program.

Inadequacyof funds and corruption within some of the partners is also a majordrawback because some of these people will use the kits, drugs, andother equipments in their own private clinics especially in areaswhere government service is poor or unavailable. Another challengewill be that of hiring the partners to work with especially in therural areas. This is a challenge because having untrained,undedicated, or unskilled personnel will just make the program moreexpensive to implement or lead to low efficiency and ineffectiveness.

Conclusion

Althoughmany governments have increased awareness on malaria, the diseasecontinues to be a major killer of children, in Asia, Africa, andLatin America. However, through programs adopted by countries such asPapua New Guinea and Uganda, the prevalence of the disease can besignificantly brought down. However, the following partners must worktogether to ensure that malaria control is a success.

Nationalauthorities and government agencies, International organizations,Nongovernmental agencies, the private sector, and the localcommunities.

References

Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Malaria.Retrieved from

http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/

HolyRosary Hospital. (2010). MalariaPrevention and Control.Retrieved from

http://www.holyrosaryhospital.org/ReadHealth.aspx?pid=0001

Kakai,R., Nasimiyu, J., &amp Odero, W. (2011). Lowreliability of home-based diagnosis of

malariain a rural community in western Kenya.Retrieved from

www.jidc.org/index.php/journal/article/download/21330741/495

OutreachUganda. (2009). Empoweringthe Poor People of Uganda.Retrieved from

http://www.outreachuganda.org/Uganda_Information.htm

WorldHealth Organization, World Malaria Report. (2008). Malaria:A Global Burden.

Retrievedfrom

http://apps.who.int/tdr/newsevents/pdf/malaria_global_burden_background.pdf