on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Anopheles Attack

In IICD Massachusetts on October 30, 2007 at 6:33 am

MALARIA: Where it’s found and how to keep yourself healthy!

Malaria is preventable!
All deaths due to malaria are preventable!

Malaria is a fatal but curable disease that is caused by the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. Malaria is caused by one of four protozoan species of the genus plasmodium:
1) Plasmodium Falciparum
2) Plasmodium Vivax
3) Plasmodium Ovale
4) Plasmodium Malarie

The female Anopheles mosquito injects the infective sporozite plasmodium forms which multiply in the liver cells and become hepatic shizonts that rupture and release merozoites into the bloodstream.
Malaria begins immediately after incubation, which can differ from one Plasmodium species to another, usually 6-30 days.

Other ways to contract:
1) Blood transfusion
2) Hypodermic syringe sharing
3) Mother to fetus

Malaria is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa!
Malaria is very prevalent in Benguela, Angola and is the number one cause of child mortality under the age of five.
Where there is warmth and water, there are mosquitoes!

The only malaria free zones are North America, Europe and Australia!

How to Protect Yourself:
1) Prevent the breeding of mosquitoes near your living space by covering pools of stagnant water, wells, open containers, latrine and garbage.
2) Prevent yourself from being bitten by:
– Wearing long sleeves/clothes that cover your entire body
– Use insect repellent on exposed skin (DEET works well, but is highly toxic)
– Sleep under mosquito nets
– Dwell in well-screened areas
-Anopheles mosquitoes are nocturnal feeders. Transmission occurs between dusk and dawn. Avoid being outdoors at these times.
– Use a parathyroid- containing flying insect spray in living and sleeping areas (once again, these are highly toxic)
– Take your malaria medication before, during and after traveling as prescribed by a doctor
-If bitten know the symptoms and seek early treatment

Symptoms:
– Fever
– Chills
– Headache
-Lethargy
-Body Pain
– Muscular Aches
– Nausea
-Diarrhea
-Vomiting
* Treat the symptoms of Malaria early because Placsmodium Falciparum infections can cause Kidney failure, coma and death.

For more information regarding Malaria, contact the Malaria Hotline at 404.332.4555

The above is a presentation that I gave today for volunteers preparing to go to Zambia, Angola, Mozambique and Namibia. I’m in the process of translating this presentation into Portuguese so that I can present it to people in my community in Benguela. It will be difficult though. Not because of the language barrier, but because I don’t know how to seriously look at a group of people who have lost their children and loved ones to Malaria and tell them something they already know, and have no control over. There is no money for mosquito nets, there is no money for pills, there is no money for fancy sprays and there is no money for screens. I am looking into mosquito net alternatives, I am looking into natural mosquito repellents, but it looks bleak.
If anyone has any helpful hints or tips, please let me know…..
Muito Obrigada!

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