Malaria is a common infectious disease in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for 90% of deaths in these areas. Malaria is a serious disease caused by a parasite called Plasmodium. It is easily transmitted by a female mosquito of Anopheles species. These parasites enter the human body through mosquito saliva and grow and reproduce in human liver cells and erythrocytes causing anemia in the body with other symptoms. Climate conditions, poverty, specific vector, drug resistance and human immunity in Africa support the high incidence of malaria cases in these areas.
The condition of malaria is worse in Africa. Almost all people in Africa suffer from malaria at least once a year. The mortality rate for malaria patients is 90% and for children under five years 60%. The spread of malaria is greater in Africa than anywhere in the world, because malaria has also evolved with the evolution of humanity.
The reasons behind so many cases of malaria in Africa are followed
Climate: Malaria is transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito. The parasite remains in the mosquito’s gut and the mosquito is infectious when the parasite reaches its salivary glands at the sporogonic stage. If the mosquito dies before this stage, it will no longer be infectious. The warm weather promotes the parasite’s faster change to the sporogony stage and the mosquito becomes infective faster. The hot temperature shortens the parasite’s development time and people are more bitten in this climate. Thus, the tropical region provides warm climate and Africa is the flowering paradise of Plasmodium.
Mosquito Breeds: Some mosquito species feed on cattle rather than humans. Unfortunately, Africa finds those mosquito breeds that feed more on humans than cattle. The main breed of Anopheles bites more humans in Africa than any other area in the world. Thus, the chance of malaria parasite transmission increases dramatically in these areas. This ecological difference is one of the reasons for the high prevalence of malaria in Africa.
Financial condition: Most of Africa’s population is under low socioeconomic status and lives in rural areas. Due to poverty, they are ignorant and do not care about hygiene and sanitation. They cannot afford mosquito repellents and mosquito nets and medicines after catching malaria. In addition, urbanization is growing in Africa, leading to faster migration of rural people to urban areas. Thus, urbanization offers more chances of breeding infected mosquitoes due to the greater accumulation of water sources.
Drug resistance: People in the sub-African region develop drug resistance. The main reason behind drug resistance is the incomplete course of medication. People stop taking antimalarial drugs before complete cure due to their side effects, less knowledge about resistance and poor socioeconomic conditions. They lack food to consume with medicines, so they have to leave medication. Plus they get reinfected; They tend to develop more drug resistance.
Political issues: Many countries in sub-African areas are in debt and do not have national budgets to take effective malaria measures. These countries were under foreign ownership and were politically off the map, so they could not get enough help from WHO. This also promoted the transmission of malaria. These regions also developed resistance against DDT and chloroquine, leading to more drastic spread of malaria.
Immunity Challenges: People in sub-African Africa do not have healthy immunity. They cannot afford healthy food, proper sanitation and medical support. According to WHO, incidences of HIV / AIDS , lower respiratory tract infections, diarrheal diseases and stroke are high in the sub-African range. Thus, malaria parasite infection is easily captured by people deprived of immunity.