Malaria is having a devastating effect on the inhabitants of Southern Africa. There are many different individuals contributing to the treatment efforts including medical practitioners, researchers, professors and even pharmacists. There have been many scary situations for the people of this region when outbreaks of the disease occur.
In urban areas with over 1 million residents, insecticides are sprayed by local authorities in areas with standing water and puddles. These are common breeding grounds for mosquitos. There is a strong correlation between altitude and malaria infection. Therefore, those cities at 1,000 meters above sea level have a significantly lower incidence of malaria outbreaks.
In rural areas below 1000 meters, insecticide spray is conducted by the central government. When the government of these countries runs out of money, spraying is reduced at the beginning of the rainy season resulting in a considerable increase in mortality. The use of pre-treated bed nets is becoming a much more accepted and successful practice.
Another increasing problem is”commuter malaria.” This occurs when mosquitos travel from a malarious region to a non-malarious area and infect the inhabitants. Mosquitos are unintentionally transported on bicycles, trains, boats trailers, automobiles and buses.
In Zimbabwe, it is national policy to not supply residents with chemoprophylaxis, a common malaria treatment. This is because the inhabitants are confronted with this issue each day and have developed immunity to the drug. However, those living at higher elevations traveling to lower lying areas should take preventative measures. In other areas of Southern Africa, a resistance to chloroquin has developed. This is a major issue for these areas because chloroquin is one of the most popular, inexpensive and effective medicinal treatments for malaria.
As a result of these resistances to specific medicines, presumptive diagnosis is on the rise. This means when an individual does not feel well in a malarious area, they are automatically given full doses of health medicines. Therefore, diagnosis is the key factor in containing malaria in the Southern African region.