Malaria: Africa’s Silent Killer

Malaria is a tropical disease that is caused by the bite from the female Anopheles mosquito. Globally about 22 countries are plagued by malaria but countries in sub-Saharan Africa are the most afflicted. There are more than 400 million cases of malaria annually.

Symptoms of Malaria: The symptoms of malaria include fever, anemia, chills, lost of appetite, general body weakness, nausea, convulsions, and headache. The most characteristic symptom of malaria is the cycle of sudden chills followed by fever and sweating.

Effect of afflicted populations: If not treated, the infection can be fatal, especially in infants, pregnant mothers and seniors. Malaria kills between one and three million people, the majority of whom are young children in sub-Saharan Africa, where 90% of malaria-related deaths occur. Statistics show that a child dies of malaria every 30-45 seconds. For those who survive, loss attendance at school and developmental problems are normally associated with the disease.

Prevention and Treatment of Malaria: Currently there is no effective vaccine against malaria though a few are in development. The most effective means of preventing the disease is to prevent the bite from the mosquito. Insecticide-treated mosquito nets and insect repellents are perhaps the cheapest way to protect infants and mothers from the mosquito but for most families living on less than a dollar per day, this may appear like a luxury rather than a necessity.

Mass preventive measures such as spraying insecticides inside houses and draining standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs can also make significant contribution in reducing the prevalence of malaria.

The State of the Fight: Generally malaria has not received the global attention required for a killer of such profile but some wealthy foundations and private companies are beginning to make malaria a priority. However, there are still significant challenges that need to be tackled. In some cases, foreign organization that embark on anti-malaria campaigns unfortunately have to go through local and government bureaucrats who  decide where and to whom the services are provided. In some cases, some donations may not even get to the very people who need the help most. We therefore believe working with volunteers who have lived through the problem and have diverse local contacts is vital in getting the help reach the most vulnerable with minimum bureaucracy and overhead costs.

How you and Give Back Africa can help: Current statistics show that in many of the malaria endemic countries, funding is less than US$1 per capita, and in fact it is less than US$0.5 in 16 malaria endemic countries, making up about 710 million people. Give Back Africa Foundation programs include the distribution of bed nets to poor communities and education of community sanitation and hygiene. We implore you to get involved. Please click here for how to donate to a good cause or contact us for more information. We are accountable to all our donors and sponsors.

We believe, together, you and Give Back Africa Foundation can make a difference in many lives if we join forces together. Thank you for your contribution. Please come back occasionally to read about any success stories and our progress in this campaign and you may also sign up to receive updates. Don’t forget to spread the word!