What is Malaria? Since I was a kid, I always hear the word Malaria from my parents especially when we have visitors or relatives coming from far flung areas. It was one of the diseases that stuck in my mind until I entered college where I thought Malaria was already vanished for I studied and stayed in Manila and never heard anymore of that. But when I have my Post Graduate Course, I learned about Millennium Development Goals, and one of which is MDG 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases. I heard it again and thought it does not exist anymore but I was wrong, Malaria still exist and still a global problem. Again, what is Malaria? Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a type of unicellular microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. Commonly, the disease is transmitted by a bite from an infected female Anopheles mosquito, which introduces the organisms from its saliva into a person's circulatory system.
In the blood, the parasites travel to the liver to mature and reproduce. What are the symptoms of Malaria? Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, chills, sweating, dry cough, fatigue, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, enlargement of the spleen which in severe cases can progress to coma or death.
Malaria is common in tropical countries like the Philippines because rainfall, warm temperature and stagnant waters (slow flowing streams) provide an environment that is conducive for the breeding of mosquito larvae. Somehow, we can prevent Malaria by using mosquito nets (conventional or insecticide treated net), mosquito repellants, wearing of long sleeve and long pants and draining stagnant waters (environmental management). There are also anti-malarial drugs available in hospitals and Rural Health Units though no known vaccines yet.
From year 2013-2015, World Malaria Day’s theme is Invest in the Future: Defeat Malaria, this is to call the attention to the need to reach the 2015 Millennium Development Goals and defeat Malaria in the near future. With help from our investors and the involvement of the community, we can defeat Malaria!