Recent progress has been made in the fight against malaria but huge challenges still remain. People’s lives are still devastated by this fatal disease when left untreated, killing an estimated 850,000 people in the tropical world each year. The greatest proportion of deaths and suffering occurs amongst those living in countries with weak or non-existent health structures, often in remote rural areas. As a result, those affected by man-made and natural crises are the least able when it comes to tackling the disease. A vicious circle continues to spiral out of control. It is amongst these communities that The MENTOR Initiative implements its life saving activities.
How is malaria transmitted?
The female Anopheles mosquito is the sole vector of the malaria parasite “Plasmodium”. There are four types of human malaria:Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium malariae, Plasmodiumovale and Plasmodium falciparum, the most deadly type.
When a human is bitten by an infected mosquito, the malaria parasites invade the bloodstream and travel to the nutrient rich liver, where they mature and reproduce. If left undiagnosed and untreated malaria is fatal, more than half a million people die every year from this devastating diseases.
The typical symptoms of uncomplicated malaria include fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches. Severe malaria can result in shock, pulmonary oedema (excess fluid in the lungs), convulsions, and comas and if left untreated, death.
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