Malaria – every two minutes another child dies
Malaria is one of the world’s most acute infectious diseases, striking up to 200 million people each year.It particularly threatens children on African continent and even though it is preventable and treatable, a child dies of malaria every two minutes.
Malaria and its symptoms
Malaria is a blood disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.Symptoms include fever, joint pain, headaches, repeated vomiting, cramps, and coma.Severe malaria is often caused by the Plasmodium falciparum parasite. It damages organs and can be fatal unless treated.Children in Africa are especially at risk - 90% of all malaria-related deaths occur on African continent.The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2017 alone, malaria killed 435,000 people around the world.
MAGNA – treatment and prevention
Treating malaria is not all that difficult and prevention is far more accessible in our latitudes.However, lack of access to the most effective treatments is often a barrier in the areas of high prevalence. At the same time, insecticide impregnated mosquito nets are very expensive for the most affected population and people living in the most malaria-prone areas cannot afford them.
To detect malaria, MAGNA healthcare professionals use rapid diagnostic testing or blood test in microscope-equipped laboratories.Rapid diagnostic test uses blood drawn from a finger, method relatively easy and inexpensive.In many areas, however, this testing method is not available, therefore children are diagnosed based on occurred symptoms.
The most effective way to treat malaria is artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT),which cures most infections in three days.Early detection and treatment is critical to prevent severe malaria that further requires hospitalisation and intravenous antimalarials.Patients with severe malaria often need blood transfusions and this requires a safe, adequately supplied blood bank, difficult to establish and maintain in hard-to-reach areas with insufficient resources.Unless treated or when treatment is delays for too long, severe malaria leads to death.
An important tool for tackling malaria is durable mosquito nets on the bed treated with insecticides.In areas such as South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where malaria is endemic, MAGNA workers are distributing nets to pregnant women and children up to five years of age.Simultaneously, MAGNA workers explain how to use nets so its use is the most effective.
More than 20,000 cases of malaria are diagnosed and treated each year by us in these two African countries.
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