Malaria, getting you up to scratch

[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_breaking=” mobile_display=”]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” av-medium-font-size=” av-small-font-size=” av-mini-font-size=” custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”]

(c) My Medical Mantra

According to sources, malaria has killed more people than all the wars of history. In the early twentieth century in India, one million people per year were dying from this disease. The advent of DDT (a colourless, tasteless, and almost odourless crystalline chemical compound, an organochlorine, originally developed as an insecticide) was a sensation to beat all sensations. DDT was fantastic for the control of all insect pests. It was first produced in Switzerland and the rights to manufacture were sold to the world during the Second World War. The US military was spraying areas with DDT before invading them. The reduction in disease casualties was evident and remarkable. Previously there were three or four disease victims for every battle casualty.

Malaria symptoms (c) Chemist & Duggist

After the war the public wanted access to this insecticide to protect crops and soon it was noticed that there repercussions to the unrestricted use of this magic substance. DDT was building up in the bodies of animals further up the food chain. It was also toxic to fish and frogs. Now, fish and frogs, as well as a host of other insects, are all predators of mosquitoes and their larvae. Instead of reducing the incidence of malaria over a long term there is a real risk that DDT was going to increase the risk because insects are really good at becoming resistant to chemicals. This is mainly due to their high reproduction rate and the incorrect usage of the chemicals.

We always try to eradicate the carrier. If we were to target the plasmodium that actually causes the disease then the problem would go away. Is it possible that pharmaceutical companies could develop an immunization for malaria? Although that would be great, that would mean everyone on earth, for as long as it takes, to totally kill all the plasmodia. It has been done with other diseases, let’s hope for this in the future.



About the Author:
Picture of Mark Gunn

Mark Gunn

Explore more

bee on lavendar plant

Why Bees are Important?

Daily we hear about animals whose population numbers are in decline, but did you know that the humble Bees numbers are also in decline and they too are at risk of extinction?

Read more
arrow-marked babbler

The Magic of the Morning Chorus

Imagine yourself early in the morning in the middle of the South African bush; the sun is just about to rise, and the wildlife begins to wake up. You close your eyes and listen. What can you hear?

Read more
in the driver seat

Expect the Unexpected

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to sleep in a tent in the middle of the African bushveld, falling asleep to the sound of a lion roaring in the far, some jackals playing, hyenas laughing? Have you ever asked yourself if you are “made” for a life out there? Well, I did! Doing the 28-day course in Mashatu was more than just a break from everyday life. It was a deep dive into the core of life itself.

Read more

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

Join our nature-loving community.