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World Malaria Day - Diagnostics and Antimalarial Medicines

  • April 27, 2022

World Malaria Day is observed on 25th April every year to raise awareness about Malaria disease (plasmodium infection) which is caused by the bite of infective female Anopheles mosquito. When a single-cell parasite known as 'Plasmodium' infects more female mosquitoes while feeding on the blood of infected person, the parasite multiplies in mosquitoes’ midgut, ready to infect more people.

The four species of parasites responsible for human malaria are Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium ovale, Plasmodium malariae and Plasmodium vivax. The first symptoms and cases of Malaria in humans can be traced around 1550 B.C. in ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks. Since the beginning of the year 1600, Malaria is known to be an Epidemic. This deadly disease has claimed between 150 million-300 million lives in the 20th century alone. In 2020, it caused around 627,000 deaths while infecting 241 million people. Countries and regions with high temperature are always at the higher risk of widespread of Malaria. Changes in temperature, rainfall, humidity and other extreme climatic conditions enable the rising population of Mosquitoes and so the development of malaria parasites in them. Thus, this disease is common in tropical areas where it’s hot and humid. The upsurge in Global Warming over the past decade have made it easier for the parasites to thrive in several regions of the world. Malaria parasites does not only infect humans but also the birds, reptiles and mammals. In the human body, these parasites first infect the liver cells and then the red blood cells – destroying them whilst releasing daughter parasites called as ‘Merozoites’ and this is when the infected person starts showing the symptoms of Malaria. Young children, older people and pregnant women are at greater risk of being infected.

Sign and Symptoms of Malaria are similar to Common Flu (Influenza):

·       Fever and sweating.

·       Chills in the body.

·       Headache and muscle pain.

·       Fatigue.

·       Chest pain, breathing difficulty and cough.

·       Diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

·       Abdominal pain.

·       Rapid heart rate.

When the Malaria progresses and the infected person does not get proper access to diagnosis and treatment, it can cause Jaundice or Anaemia. Great progress has been made in medical science in recent years to reduce the high level of suffering caused by malaria worldwide. But no antimalarial drug is completely protective, it's every individual's duty to take basic precautions in prevention of this deadly disease. The first medicine to cure Malaria was developed in 1820 with a number of natural and synthetic compounds but over a period of time, the parasite strain became resistant towards this drug. After that, researchers and scientist developed Quinine drug from the bark of cinchona tree. Even though Quinine was used as the most effective drug to cure infected people during 1820-1980s; the parasite showed the resistant against it in 1980 and it got eliminated from the list of primary treatment of Malaria disease.

Currently, there are 14 medicines to treat Malaria and 4 medicines for the curative treatment of malaria and 4 medicines for the preventative treatment. In the year 2021, WHO recommended the large-scale use of Malaria vaccine for children named ‘Mosquirix’ where young children are required to take Four dosages for the total protection. This vaccine has around 75% efficacy which is a great sign in order to minimize further outspread of transmission.

There is no approved Malaria preventative vaccine for adults as such but recently, the researchers at University of Maryland School of Medicine has found an experimental malaria vaccine which could protect adults from the infection for more than a year.

People living in regions with high temperature should take preventive measure to hinder the transmission of this terrible diseases which has been impacting Humans’ lives for decades. So that no child or elderly person has to suffer because of it. The basic precaution to curtail the emergence of mosquitoes and their bites include:

Keeping surroundings dry and clean
keeping the doors and windows closed during nightfall
Avoiding littering on streets
Wearing long pants and full sleeves shirt, and high socks while stepping out 
Ensuring proper ventilation in home / commercial spaces  
Ensuring there’s no stagnant water near your area
Draping mosquito netting over beds
Staying away from open ponds, polluted rivers and landfill sites

To evade serious complications, on-time diagnosis of malaria is vital. The medical personnel at diagnostics centre will review your health history as well as whether you had recent travelled to any tropical climate region recently to get clearer understanding of the condition. The blood sample to confirm the diagnosis will exhibit whether you have Malaria, the type of Malaria, if it has led to anaemia, if the infection has affected your organs. The treatment for Malaria should start as soon as possible and as prescribed by your healthcare provider. The type of medication and length of treatment depends on the type of parasite and at what extent it has infected the body.

If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of Malaria, you should immediately talk to your doctor and get diagnosis from the best diagnostic centre near you. my Healthmeter diagnostic centre provides comprehensive screening of diseases like Malaria under the guidance of credible medical personnel and state-of-the-art medical diagnostic equipment. Together, by spreading awareness, prevention and proper diagnosis; we can bite back against Malaria to create healthy communities worldwide.