Monday, August 9, 2010

Malaria 0 - Babeth 1

Fancy reading this post in French? Retrouvez moi sur La Cuisine de Babeth

Malaria zones

Time flies, it's been so long, since June, I haven't posted anything here. My day job in Kigali is time consuming, which may explain why I've been away from blogging for so long. And also French food blogs feuds made me rethink blogging. I was even thinking to quit blogging and only using micro-blogging thanks to twitter magics. But after some wishful thinking I realize, what the heck!, a blog is personal (share with everybody else who cares to read) and a great way to share pictures, story and recipes with family, friends and all the anonymous visitors who like this blog. So I'm back!

Topic of the day: malaria. In Rwanda, where we live, malaria is not widely spread but still present. After only few months in Kigali, guess what I got malaria. Even though I tried to protect myself from being bitten, only one time is enough to be infected by malaria. Our house has mosquito nets on every windows, we have mosquito net, sprayed with repellant, above our bed, I wear long sleeves and pants at night, and use spray (Note: only tropical repellent is working) when even it needs, I even have a mosquito repeller iphone apps.
Mosquito net

Malaria is a very dangerous and potentially deadly diseases. the life cycle of the parasite responsible for malaria: Plasmodium, is complex and not always detected in infected people. And often, sick people don't go quickly enough to see a doctor to get tested. Why? First because infected people get fever and then get better and develop fever again, and also because most of infected people are very poor and live in poor country and live far away from hospitals or free clinics.

So what is malaria?
Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite: the Plasmodium, spread by tropical mosquitos (female anopheles). The parasites multiply in the human liver cells, that exploded and parasites propagate to the blood. And it's only where it's in the blood that malaria can be detected.

Symptoms: fever, headaches, join pain, vomiting, loss of appetite before coma and possible death.

In Africa a simple pain-free, and cheap or free for the poorer, test is used to diagnose malaria: blood film. A drop of blood at the tip of a finger is placed on a glass slide.

In my case I had fever, not much, headaches, join pain, vomiting and total loss of appetite. Fever was disappearing in the morning to come back, knocking me out, around 5p.m. I got treated on time and I'm now malaria free.

If you live in a malaria zone, or are coming back from one don't under estimate fever and join-pain, especially for travelers coming back home during winter. And get yourself tested for malaria.

Reading this post took you approximatively 2 minutes, and during those 2 minutes 4 children died of malaria in Africa. Indeed 1 children dies from malaria in Africa every 30 seconds, without counting all the adults ...

To go further:
Institut Pasteur article (in French)
WHO article
CDC article
great TV spot with David Beckam for fight malaria 2010

1 comment:

Sadie said...

It is hearty and filling and super good!! Thanks for the recipe.

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