Malaria and the Environment: The challenges Of controlling malaria in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.

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Today’s mosquito breeds even where we thought they can never thrive due to environmental changes. It has been established that environmental factors have profound influences on mosquito’s life span. As ecosystems are being modified across the planet, the habitat is altered, and malaria territories are being extended because of global warming.

Consequently, any small variations in microclimate can affect the mosquito’s chances of survival or longevity Environmental Management: A Malaria Control Strategy for Nigeria

Nigeria accounted for more than 20 percent of the world’s 438,000 malaria deaths last year, according the World Health Organization’s 2015 World Malaria Report. And while the Nigerian government has demonstrated a renewed commitment to reducing the incidence of malaria, its current plan—the Saving One Million Lives initiative—is insufficient.

Nigeria needs to focus on environmental management, not just bed nets, to save tens of thousands of lives every year.

A water-related disease, malaria is widespread in the world’s tropical and subtropical regions near the equator. Nigeria’s high temperatures and rainfall levels create breeding grounds for mosquitos. In turn, the parasite Plasmodium falciparum develops within mosquitoes, which is then transmitted to humans.

Apart from a suitable climate for malaria, poor standards of sanitation and access to quality health care services increase the risk of disease.

According to WHO, about 2.4 billion people globally live in highly unsanitary conditions.

But it’s not just sanitation: Studies show that in Africa both the prevalence and development of malaria are higher in houses made of wooden planks than in one made of cement.

Additionally, houses that are surrounded by bushes, garbage heaps, swamps, and stagnant water are also more likely to host infected mosquitoes. In parts of Nigeria, living in proximity to waste has become a way of life, which increases the risk of malaria.

Yet, Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives initiative, known as SOML, is prioritizing the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and anti-malarial drugs. Both methods are proven to reduce infection rates and are cost-effective, but by itself this strategy has a limited impact.


Disease burden

According to the latest World malaria report, released in November 2018, there were 219 million cases of malaria in 2017, up from 217 million cases in 2016.

The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 435 000 in 2017, a similar number to the previous year.

The WHO African Region continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2017, the region was home to 92% of malaria cases and 93% of malaria deaths.\

In 2017, 5 countries accounted for nearly half of all malaria cases worldwide: Nigeria (25%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (11%), Mozambique (5%), India (4%) and Uganda (4%).

Children under 5 years of age are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria; in 2017, they accounted for 61% (266 000) of all malaria deaths worldwide.
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Facts on Transmission

In most cases, malaria is transmitted through the bites of female Anopheles mosquitoes.

There are more than 400 different species of Anopheles mosquito; around 30 are malaria vectors of major importance.

All of the important vector species bite between dusk and dawn. The intensity of transmission depends on factors related to the parasite, the vector, the human host, and the environment.
– Anopheles mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, which hatch into larvae, eventually emerging as adult mosquitoes.

The female mosquitoes seek a blood meal to nurture their eggs.
– Each species of Anopheles mosquito has its own preferred aquatic habitat; for example, some prefer small, shallow collections of fresh water, such as puddles and hoof prints, which are abundant during the rainy season in tropical countries.

Transmission is more intense in places where the mosquito lifespan is longer (so that the parasite has time to complete its development inside the mosquito) and where it prefers to bite humans rather than other animals.

The long lifespan and strong human-biting habit of the African vector species is the main reason why approximately 90% of the world’s malaria cases are in Africa.

In many places, transmission is seasonal, with the peak during and just after the rainy season.
– Malaria epidemics can occur when climate and other conditions suddenly favour transmission in areas where people have little or no immunity to malaria.

They can also occur when people with low immunity move into areas with intense malaria transmission, for instance to find work, or as refugees.

#coatalfortesoftgel #toughonmalariasoftonyou

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