Malaria Issue Report

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The Issue/Problem

The issue I am going to be talking about in my report is about how to prevent the transmission of malaria around the world.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne, climate sensitive disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium. Malaria is caused by one of four species of the protoctist Plasmodium. The Plasmodium parasites multiply in red blood cells; this can cause symptoms such as fever and headache, but in severe cases the disease can lead to death.


Malaria is transmitted through the bite of an infected female (Anopheles) mosquito; although it can be transmitted through contact of infected blood but this is very uncommon. The cycle of malaria is an Anopheles mosquito bites an infected person; a small amount of infected blood is taken. The plasmodium parasite grows and matures in the mosquito's gut for approximately a week before it then travels to the mosquito's salivary glands. When the mosquito next bites someone, these parasites mix with the saliva, are then injected with the bite, and the transmission of malaria is complete.         

Cycle in the Body

Once in the blood, the parasites travel to the liver and enter liver cells, to grow and multiply. After some time, the parasites leave the liver cells and enter red blood cells. In the red blood cells the malaria parasites continues to grow and multiply. After they mature, the infected red blood cells rupture, freeing the parasites to attack and enter other red blood cells.


Toxins released when the red cells burst, these are what cause the common symptoms of malaria, these are:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Flu like symptoms


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) malaria report 2011, there were 216 million cases of malaria and an estimated 655,000 deaths in 2010. Malaria mortality rates have fallen by more than 25% globally since 2000. Most deaths occur amongst children living in Africa where a child dies every minute of malaria and the disease accounts for approximately 22% of all childhood deaths.


Malaria is a disease that only occurs in certain climates, due to the fact that malaria is passed on through mosquito bites so only certain countries and regions have the conditions that mosquitos can survive in are affected by the disease; this includes sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America as shown in the picture below:

This picture shows that malaria affects countries mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, especially South America (but north of Argentina) Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.

Malaria has been on the rise since the 1970s and constitutes a serious risk to health in many tropical countries.

The Problem with malaria is that it mainly affects people who live in LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) the problem with this is that they cannot afford to get the healthcare to treat the disease unlike with MEDCs (More Economically Developed Countries) where they don’t get diseases of this kind commonly but are able to afford the healthcare.

Malaria also causes a number of deaths and illnesses every year, especially in countries which suffer from a lot of poverty. This means that if parents catch the diseases then their children will be orphaned and left to fend for themselves.

Solutions to the Problem

There are several methods of treating malaria and these are some of the best methods to protect us from the disease:

A mosquito net protects against mosquitos, flies, and other airborne insects. Mosquito nets are the first line of defence against the deadly bite of mosquitos. The fine, see-through mesh stops insects from biting or affecting the person using the net. The mesh is fine enough to stop these insects entering the sleeping area of the person. Research has found that the latest Long Lasting Insecticidal Nets (LLINs) save lives; they have been proven to cut malaria cases in children by half as well as reducing child deaths by 20%. The use of these nets can also help protect other people sleeping nearby who are not sleeping under a net. It’s estimated that when 80% of people sleep under a net, the entire community is protected. Although it is vital that the people using the mosquito nets regularly check the nets for any holes big enough for insects to get through. Scientists in Senegal have been researching the success rate of mosquito nets after six million nets were distributed over five years. Within three weeks of the nets being introduced, the scientists found that the number of malaria attacks had started to fall – it had fell by 13 times since before the nets had come in. The researchers also collected specimens of Anopheles gambiae, which is the type of mosquito species responsible for transmitting malaria to humans in Africa. Between 2007 and 2010 the proportion of the insects with a genetic resistance rose from 8% to 48%.

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By 2010 the proportion of mosquitoes resistant to Deltamethrin was 37%.


Malaria parasites in the blood can best be detected under a microscope, but, when this is not available malaria cases can also be quickly and accurately identified using a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). RDTs are disposable blood testing kits which can be used anywhere and provide a quick result, they measure the amount of plasmodium in the blood; therefore showing if you have malaria or not. RDTs mean that a potentially life-saving diagnosis of malaria, which usually could only be possible in hospitals, can now be made ...

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