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An issue report investigating Malaria, how it is affecting over the world, especially travellers to Africa, and if there are any solutions to prevent the disease.

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Introduction

An issue report investigating Malaria, how it is affecting over the world, especially travellers to Africa, and if there are any solutions to prevent the disease. The problem Malaria is a huge worldwide problem. According to the world health organisations, there were 243 million cases and nearly 1 million deaths from Malaria in 2008. Most of malaria cases occur in African countries close to the equator and below the Sahara desert where the living conditions are perfect for the mosquitoes. 1; 500 travellers return to the UK with Malaria every year. In 2008, figures shows that there were six deaths from 1,370 cases of malaria in the UK. (Health Protection Report, 2009) [1] In Africa, Malaria accounts for up to a third of all hospital admissions, and up to a quarter of all deaths of children under the age of 5. There are up to 800,000 infantile mortalities and a substantial number of miscarriages and very low birth weight babies per year due to the disease. (Microbiology notes) [2] Malaria is a protozoal disease transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. (World Book Encyclopedia, 1976) [3] Malaria is caused by a proctoctist known as Plasmodium, which is transmitted by female Anopheles. When a female mosquito stings a human to take a blood meal, either of the following events may occur: 1. In case of an infected person, the mosquito obtains both male and female gametes of Plasmodium along the blood it sucks up. Then, the gametes fuse in the mosquito's stomach, forming thousands of immature malarial parasites which invade the mosquito's salivary glands. 2. The other event that could occur is that an already infected mosquito with immature malarial parasites, injects them into a healthy person. The immature malarial parasites then undergo maturation in the person's liver. (wiki books) [4] There are 4 different types of the parasite which effect humans, these include; Plasmodium Falciparum, P. ...read more.

Middle

(Marinebio) [9] As the DDT breaks down in the environment, it damages it. DDT is persistent in the environment because it is not degraded by sunlight or heat; however it is broken down by the product DDE which is produced by enzymatic metabolism in organisms. (Science environmental effects of DDT) [10] They also get into the water supplies when there is heavy rainfall, which is dangerous for humans. They get washed into the soil and spread throughout the waterways. DDT is insoluble it water which means it cannot be diluted so it is an abundant chemical in the Earth's environment and in organisms. This chemical pollution may kill many organisms some distance from the crop. DDT was even found in the penguins in the Antarctic. Presumably it had been in the fish they had eaten. (DDT factsheet) [11] Benefits and risks of DDT spray The only advantage of using DDT was to humans. As the DDT is very strong, only a tiny amount needs to be used and so it is a cheap and effective way of preventing malaria, which devastates a huge number of people every year. (DDT: Sniffing out excellent white powder, Roberts D) [12] There were many disadvantages of using the DDT on humans, other organisms and the environment. DDT spray was so good and effective in killing insects so large quantities of it was used which increased the amount of the chemical in the world. As a lot of DDT was used, the risks which resulted from the DDT increased which is spoken more about below. Other organisms and animals were affected as DDT was sprayed on the crops to kill the insects. However, it was not realised at the time that DDT was a very long lasting chemical. It stayed in the soil which was sprayed on for up to ten years and plants grow in the soil absorbed the DDT. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think this source is reliable because it is unbiased, as it talks about everything about the disease and also it is published by doctors. The fact that all the information about malaria on the website is backed up by figures, makes it very reliable, for example "Malaria occurs in over 100 countries and more than 40% of the people in the world are at risk". I have checked this statement from the "traveldoctor" website with other websites and they show similar data. Also as the website is made by doctors, it has been peer reviewed and has gone through the stages of ensuring the data is valid, making the source reliable. My second source was a book which was non web-based, "Jon. N, 2002, 'Taming the mosquito', NewScientist, Volume, May 25th, pg 8. This Book being unbiased and not one sided makes is reliable as it gave all the information about the disease and scientific books such as this one are mostly always reliable. The final source I used was another web based website, http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Malaria/Pages. The reason why I used this source was because I needed to confirm my data which I found from my other sources. All the information is detailed which makes the source reliable. Data such as "The female Anopheles mosquito, which spreads malaria by transmitting the Plasmodium parasite to humans, is nocturnal. She only bites at night. Therefore, an insecticide-treated bed net can be an extremely effective tool in the prevention of malaria" is from a website which can be seen as unreliable and inaccurate as the website was a question and answer where people answer peoples questions. However I found this piece of information from the website and checked it with other sources and found it was correct. I also checked that piece of data with a non web based source and found the same information so I used it. As people are answering questions on the website, "http://www.elca.org/Our-Faith-In-Action/Responding-to-the-World/ELCA-Malaria-Campaign/FAQ.aspx#19 ", it can be incorrect. ...read more.

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