Malaria in Cuban Children and how it differs from children in US
Malaria is a disease cause by a parasite that is transmitted from one person to another by the bite of an Anopheles mosquito. These are female mosquitoes that are most persistent in the tropics and sub-tropic parts of the world Such as Africa Asia and USA
Symptoms of malaria may include headache, chills, muscle ache, fever, and malaise. Malaria’s early development stages resemble those of flue which only develop between 6-8 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
It is estimated that 40% of the world population is at risk of malaria and that it claims an estimated one million lives annually (World Health Organization 1989). Malaria can e prevented through the use of anti-malaria drugs, use of treated mosquitoes nets, oiling others (http://www.cigna.com/healthinfo/hw119119.html).
Malarial cases are rare in the US as compared to Cuba. This is because Cuba is a tropic country whose majority population lives below the poverty line. Hence cannot afford basic medication or preventive measures such as the use of mosquito’s nets. On the other had malaria infection in the US is detected mostly among travelers and hence rare.
Malaria affects all segments of the population but most severely children, women, and people living with emergency cases such as HIV/ AIDS.
Malaria in children causes complications such as paralysis, recurrent fewer, Anemia, blindness, epilepsy and cerebral malaria. If not well treated malaria can affect the subsequent health and development of child; For instance it is estimated that 7% of Cuban children who survive cerebral malaria are left with permanent neurological problems such as spastics, blindness, speech problem and low concentration which affects their performance in school.
This has been adverse due to inadequate treatment brought about by poverty; forces people to prescribe their own medication, lack of drugs and expertise in hospitals. (http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/elitedeals/disease.htm).
Malaria effects on pregnant women are higher in Cuba than the US. For instance only 35 cases were reported in the US in 2000 while more than 10, 000 cases were reported in Cuba. Malarial medications are limited for pregnant women and also children.
These infections can lead to death of a woman and her fetus – unborn fetus may get the disease from the mother; thus for this reason pregnant women should not travel to areas where they can get the disease. Some of the adverse effects of malaria during pregnancy include increased chances of still birth, intrauterine growth, retardation and low birth weight of less than 2500 grammes.( http://www.traveldoctor.info/diseases/1.html )
A malarial infection varies depending on someone’s body immunity. For this reason the elderly and those with emergency diseases such as HIV/AIDS are severely affected as their levels of immunity are low, hence increases their chances of infection.
Malaria prevalence in Cuban children is high than in the US. This is because of the weak health infrastructure of the country, civil unrests and the widespread resistance to malarial drugs among other causes. However, Malaria infection reduced by 9.0% in 2000 in the US due to change in disease transmission and increased / effective use of anti-malarial chemoprophylaxis.
Poverty in Cuba has increase child infection as majority cannot afford basic prevention measures such as mosquito nets, clearing of bushes, and oiling of stagnant water. In addition houses in the rural areas are built of mud unlike the US, which allows mosquitoes to freely enter and leave the houses.
In conclusion malaria effects are more severe in Cuban children than in America children as America children have access to free medication and can afford basic preventive measures. On the other hands Poverty of most households and inadequacy of drugs inhibits complete treatment of malaria in Cuban children which affect these development.
Maria, G.(2007) Malaria. Retrieved February 25, 2008 from http://www.cigna.com/healthinfo/hw119119.html