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ANNOUNCEMENTS:::

TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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  • Volume 1

WHEN malaria MAKES THE BODY FIGHT ITSELF

By Sade Oguntola, Nigeria


Medical  experts  have  warned that  malaria,  with  all  its Mdebilitating  effects  on  the patient,  can  also  make  the  body  work contrary to itself, as well as destroy the red  blood  cells  that  help  to  supply  all parts  of  the  body  with  oxygen  which makes us living beings.
 
MALARIA infection might cause children's  immune  systems  to  attack their own DNA, resulting in more severe health  problems  than  in  adults,  a  new discovery, by  a  team  of  scientists from Nigeria and the US has said.

The  scientists  tested  blood  samples  of 21  Nigerian  children  from  the  Barkin Ladi Village Clinic, under the age of six, who  were  infected  with  plasmodium falciparum  malaria  and  tested  for  the p r e s e n c e   o f   d i f f e r e n t   i m m u n e   c o m p o n e n t s   s u c h   a s   c y t o k i n e s   signalling  chemicals  released  by  the immune system  and antibodies.

It is clear that one of the reasons malaria is more of a problem in children is because  children “are making  antibodies  that  are  not protective.”

They  speculated  that  DNA  causes  the immune  system  to  attack  its  own  cells known  as  auto-immunity    which,  in children,  leads  to  a  worse  state  of sickness. Auto-immune-like response is said to have a different effect in adults, particularly  those  repeatedly  exposed to  malaria.  Adults,  with  their  more developed  immune  systems,   can  often be  repeatedly  exposed  to  malaria  and benefit  from  a  better  immune  system response  and  stronger  protection against the parasite.

According to Virginia Baker, a US-based researcher at Chipola College and a co- author of the study, with this new light shed  on  how  children  respond  to falciparum malaria, it is clear that one of the  reasons  malaria  is  more  of  a problem in children is because children “are  making  antibodies  that  are  not protective.”

However,  the  researchers  believe  that their  new  findings  may  also  show  why some  vaccines,  which  use  DNA  as  an agent to increase immunity, fail to work. They  said  it  might  mean  that  such vaccines may, in fact, need an immuno- s u p p r e s s a n t   i n   o r d e r   t o   c o n f e r   protection.

Meanwhile,  they  suggested  in  a  study published  in  a  Malaria  Journal  that correcting  the  breaking  down  of  the body's  immunity  by  itself  due  to  an  attack of malaria and getting rid of the malaria parasite at the same time using appropriate  treatments  should  be targeted as this is effective in preventing severe malaria in young children.

Michael  Oluseyi  Obadofin,  from  Jos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, offers  a  scientific  explanation  for  a better  understanding  of  how  malaria affects children. Speaking with Dr. Fatai Fehintola, a Consultant Pharmacologist with  the  University  College  Hospital (UCH),  Ibadan,  he  said  there  were  still gaps in terms of the knowledge on the exact way the malaria parasite produces some of its problems. Nevertheless, he  said.

“There  is  also  a  hypothesis  that suggested  that  even  the  normal  red blood cell production does not function optimally the way it should when there is  malaria,  which  means  that  the parasite may not just lead to destruction of red blood cells, it could also prevent even generation of new red blood cells.”

Even  though  the  exact  means  through which this happens is still unknown, the s u g g e s t i o n s   i n c l u d e   t h a t   s o m e   endogenous  products  within  the  body tend  to  affect  production  of  red  blood cells.  “We  are  aware  of  the  immune basis  of  malaria  susceptibility,  but  the exact way it happens is still unknown.”

“We  have  always  known  that  children are  more  susceptible  to  malaria  than adults  and  that  this  has  to  do  with immunity.  That  is  why  we  call  adult semi-immune  because  even  when  an adult has malaria, it is unlikely that it will be as severe as it is in children. Also, the frequency  of  attacks  is  expected  to  be higher in children,” says Dr. Fehintola.

The  explanation  has  always  been  that the immunity of one is better developed than that of the other and so channelling  energy  to  getting  more  knowledge  on malaria and the immune system will go a  long way in ensuring that malaria does not kill.
 

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