The “Villain in Africa”, otherwise known as Plasmodium or Malaria, is a parasite that affects nearly every continent. This horrific disease kills around one million to two million people each year. The majority of these victims are children in the Saharan parts of Africa. Mosquitos are the primary way diseases transfer throughout Africa in particular. Africa is also the home to the most dangerous species transferring this disease to humans. One bite from these animals is equal to approximately sixty mosquito bites. Victims who survive malaria, and the numbers are few, are left with physical and mental debilitations. There is a possibility of finding researchers a vaccine or cure for this debilitating disease. The parasites that make up malaria are definitely more complex than what scientists are used to dealing with today. Not only is this disease hurting the population and negatively impacting people’s lives, obviously, but it is also impacting the economy in African households. It confines family’s incomes so that they can’t pay for necessities. It also hurts the economy my lessening the desire to travel to these countries, which loses money in terms of their tourist market. Around 1950, countries got together in order to attempt to eradicate this awful disease. They began spraying houses with a mix of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, which essentially allowed some countries to begin to control the malaria. This caused the amount of deaths to plummet, until 1972 when the United States banned the mixture due to its danger to crops.
Even though the DDT helped, it would only really helped eradicate the mosquitoes that bite indoors. The risk of outdoor mosquitoes was and still is a threat. While researchers still do not know how we will potentially contain this disease, they continue to fight because of the millions of lives it takes each year. Maybe if the world worked together to make underdeveloped countries a safer place, those countries would not be as susceptible to this disease. I always knew malaria was a major issue throughout the world, specifically in Africa. I didn’t know how many lives it took every year. The fact that a disease transferred from person to person by a little bug kills over a million people a year makes me nervous for what else can be spread in the future. The way DDT worked seemed similar to what they did in the video in African with the Ebola crisis. It must be made with some sort of bleach as well in order to completely detoxify and clean the contaminated area. Hopefully, someday, scientists and researchers will be able to find a vaccine to cure it or lessen the terrible conditions it causes. I think part of our issue with malaria is that we don’t work hard enough to take care of the sick. As long as we are struggling to eradicate the disease, we should also be simultaneously focusing on how we can treat those who are already ill with malaria. Reading this article made me feel lucky to live in such a developed country where there is medical assistance and the proper medicine if I were to get a disease. In places like these countries in Africa, they don’t have the proper resources and tools to care for their sick. For instance, when Ebola hit our country, we were able to successfully contain it and keep it from spreading. Unlike our country, Africa and other underdeveloped countries aren’t able to handle diseases like Ebola and malaria like we are.
Overall, the amount of suffering this disease has and is continuing to cause victims all over the world needs to be stopped. Researchers and scientists not only need to focus on finding a way to create a vaccination for malaria, but also to work towards finding a treatment for those already affected. If DDT does not do a good enough job, we need to find some other way to help those who are struggling with this disease.