1.0 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background information
The term `Malaria' originates from Medieval Italian Mala aria which mean “bad air”; and the disease was formerly called Ague or Marsh fever due to its association with swamps and marshland, (Watkins, 2001). Scientific studies on Malaria made their first significant advance in 1880, when Charles Louis Alphonse Laveran a French army doctor working in the military hospital of Constantine in Algeria observed malaria plasmodium parasites inside the red blood cell of people suffering from Malaria. Documentation of report on discovery of origin of Malaria, one of the deadliest diseases of humanity shows that Chimpanzees, native to equatorial Africa have been identified as the original source of the parasite that likely moved from them to humans via mosquitoes. Wolfe, (2009) identified several parasites from Chimpanzee that show Malarial jumped from animal to human. Malaria is transmitted by Anopheline mosquitoes the number and type of which determine the extent of transmission in a given area. The plasmodium falciparum accounts for the majority of infections and is most lethal. Transmission is affected by climate and geography and often coincides with the rainy season. In WHO/UNICEF, (2005) report malaria is one of the most devastating global public health problems with more than one million deaths and approximately 300-500 million cases of malaria annually. WHO, (2010) report, Malaria is by far the world’s worse tropical parasitic disease, and kills more people than any other communicable disease. Several studies observed that malaria kills more than 3,000 children daily and is the single most important factor for mortality among children under the age of five. Additionally, an estimated 25 million pregnant women are at risk of malaria. Malaria is endemic in a total of 101 countries and territories 45 countries in WHO’s African region, 21 in WHO’s American region, 4 in WHO’s European region, 14 in WHO’s Eastern Mediterrarian Region, 8 In WHO’s South – East Asia region, and 9 in WHO’s Western Pacific region, (report from global health council on impact of infectious diseases.) WHO, (2007) report has shown that malaria has reached epidemic proportions in many regions of the world and continues to spread unchecked. In many regions of developing countries malaria exacts an enormous toll in lives, medical costs, and in days of labor lost. According to Roll-Back Malaria (RBM), over 40 per cent of the World’s children live in malaria-endemic countries and 107 countries and territories are at risk of malaria transmission.Malaria causes 24 percent of under-five deaths in Equatorial Guinea (UNICEF 2008). Malaria is preventable, if adequate resources are invested in prevention. About 98 percent of Equatorial Guineans live in areas with endemic risk of malaria but only one percent of children under five sleeps under insecticide-treated nets. This is far fewer than in other Countries with similar malaria risk. This suggests inadequate efforts to prevent malaria that would contribute to the realization of the right to health of both children and adults. Children under the age of five, pregnant women, and people living with HIV and AIDS are at highest risk for developing clinical malaria. More than 80 per cent of these cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa. WHO/RBM, (2004). Malaria is a primary cause of poverty, putting additional burdens on health systems and costing Africa an estimated 12 billion USDs in lost production every year. The spread of the disease is fuelled by several factors: climate change, increasing population mobility, more frequent international transport, emergence of multi drug-resistant strains, and military and economic deterioration. Abuja summit in Nigeria in the year 2000, 44 African leaders reaffirmed their commitment to roll back malaria and set interim target for Africa. They challenged other world leaders to join them in recognizing the importance of tackling...
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