Malaria is an illness that is caused by a parasite. This parasite, known as Plasmodium, is transferred to victims through the bites of mosquitoes who have been infected. When transferred into a human, Malaria parasites can multiply in the liver and eventually will infect the red blood cells.
Symptoms of an infection of Malaria often include headache, fever and vomiting, much like the symptoms of the standard flu. These symptoms typically begin between ten to fifteen days after the victim has been bitten by an infected mosquito. Gone untreated, Malaria can become a life-threatening illness as it disrupts the supply of blood to vital organs in the human body. Although medicines have been created to help fight off Malaria, in some parts of the world the parasites that cause the illness have grown immune to many of these medicines.
Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in this illness. There are currently many tools that can help physicians diagnose the disease. Microscopy and other diagnostic tests along with Artemisinin-based treatments have proven to be very effective in reducing the morbidity rate of those with Malaria. Anti-malarial drug resistance has become a problem for public health as it hinders the control over the disease.
Research on anti-malarial drugs is ongoing. Ensuring strict quality standards in the production of these medicines is crucial to ensure safe widespread use. Pricing is a key issue in these drugs as well. Making anti-malarial medicines affordable is key in increasing access to the drugs and providing a safer environment and safer and more effective medicines.
Clinical trials on anti-malarial drugs, including Malaria diagnostic kits and drug resistance studies is ongoing as well. Studies in many areas, such as the Philippines have been performed since the early 1990s. Research efforts have grown significantly during the past few years and now include field-based studies of therapeutic efficacy as well as genotyping for sulfa-drug resistance and P. falciparum chloroquine.
Research facilities are currently working together to combine research undertakings and learn more about the disease as well as the medicines used to treat it. Through these collaborative efforts, substantial contributions have been made to local and global institutions for training in clinical management of Malaria and Malaria microscopy. Learning more about the development of the disease and making available training materials and general health education materials is also made possible through these research contributions. By translating these findings and offering more information as it becomes available, the hopes of learning and implementing Malaria control strategies and overall better health policies is taking shape on a global scale.
The key in maintaining the illness remains to be early diagnosis and immediate treatment. By having the ability to spot the parasites early on, physicians have a much greater ability of saving the victim of the disease from life-threatening situations. As more and more research is being done, more medicines may become available and more tests that can accurately and quickly determine these parasites before they are able to cause fatal damage.