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Medical February 17, 2023

Malaria: A Preventable Disease With Devastating Consequences

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Pharm Ose Oyakhilome

Written by Adaobi Oduenyi

What is Malaria?

According to the CDC, Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.

People who get malaria are typically very sick with;

  • High fevers

  • Shaking chills

  • And flu-like illness

Types of Malaria parasites

There are four kinds of malaria parasites that infect humans:

  • Plasmodium falciparum

  • P. vivax

  • P. ovale

  • And P. malariae

There is also P. knowlesi, a type of malaria that naturally infects macaques in Southeast Asia that can also infect humans, thereby causing malaria that is transmitted from animal to human (zoonotic malaria).

P. falciparum is the type of malaria that is most likely to result in severe infections and if not promptly treated, may lead to death.

Although malaria as a disease is quite deadly, it can usually be prevented if it is detected and treated on time.

Even though malaria is preventable and treatable, it continues to be a significant public health issue, that affects millions of people every year, especially in developing countries.

The WHO estimated that in 2020, 241 million clinical cases of malaria occurred, and 627,000 people died of malaria, most of them being children in Africa. Malaria has had devastating impacts on so many communities, countries and economies due to its physical toll on those who contract it because time away from work can result in lost income and productivity. It also raises healthcare expenditures and puts pressure on the healthcare system.

Malaria has deeply affected Sub-Saharan Africa, especially young children under the age of five. It has also significantly affected maternal and infant health, increasing the risk of low birth weight and anaemia in expectant mothers. The risk of difficulties during pregnancy and delivery can then rise, endangering both the mother and the child.

“According to the CDC, Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.“

Despite its terrible effects, malaria can still be prevented and treated by;

  • Using insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) has been found to cut malaria transmission by up to 90%, they are a straightforward, inexpensive, and extremely successful intervention that can save lives, especially in regions with a high disease transmission rate.

  • By using indoor residual spraying

  • Implementing early diagnosis and treatment with the Malaria DTP kit

  • Developing new tools and technologies that will control the types of mosquitoes that transmit the disease.

The availability of medical care is also a crucial component of controlling malaria. Many people in underdeveloped nations, unfortunately, lack access to efficient antimalarial medications despite the fact that they are readily available; either they cannot afford them or they reside in rural places with insufficient access to healthcare facilities.

Globally, there have been considerable strides in lowering the burden of the disease and there have been significant advancements in the fight against malaria. The incidence of malaria-related fatalities has reduced by half since 2000, as has the overall prevalence of the illness. This development is the result of increasing money, stronger political commitment, and easier access to treatments and preventative measures.

For example, OneHealth has developed a malaria detection and treatment kit where an individual can test, treat and prevent malaria without one going to the hospital ad with making sure that people can have access to medical care from any location in Nigeria they can directly contact healthcare professionals from the comfort of their homes.

Malaria DTP Kit

Malaria DTP Kit

The Malaria Dtp (detect. Treat. Prevent) Kit By On...


Despite these achievements, there is still much work to be done in the fight against malaria. The disease continues to affect millions of people every year and progress in malaria control has been uneven across different regions and countries. In addition, the development of drug and insecticide resistance is a growing concern and it is crucial that new strategies and tools are developed to address this issue.

In conclusion, malaria is a preventable disease with devastating consequences. However, with increased funding, political commitment, and access to preventive measures and treatments, it is possible to reduce the burden of the disease and save millions of lives. It is important that the global community continues to work together to address this public health issue and ensure that progress in malaria control is sustained and accelerated in the years to come.

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