Nelly Bassily | April 18, 2011
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is life-threatening, yet preventable and treatable. As this story shows, malaria can prevent farmers from working and thus affect the livelihood of the family. In countries with high transmission rates, malaria reduces annual economic growth by an average of 1.3%. Malaria has lifelong effects, cutting attendance at schools and workplaces, and increasing poverty. It is a particular threat to young children and pregnant women.
Use of insecticide-treated mosquito bednets can prevent malaria, as shown in this part of Burundi. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are vital to controlling malaria. According to the World Health Organization, access to treatment should be a fundamental right for all populations at risk.
For more facts on malaria, visit: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/
Farm Radio International has produced the following resources on malaria:
Africa: Small-scale farmers experiment with anti-malarial plants (FRW 15, March 2008). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/03/17/2-africa-small-scale-farmers-experiment-with-anti-malarial-plants-the-monitor-world-agroforestry-centre/
-Prevent malaria in pregnancy! (Package 91, Script 8, July 2010). http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/91-8script_en.asp
You may wish to research and report on malaria prevention and treatment methods practiced in your area. If so, consider the following questions:
-Is malaria a significant risk in your area? Are there particular times of the year when extra precautions should be taken?
-Are preventative materials (such as treated bednets or other materials) available to families in your area? Are they affordable?
-Is the community well-informed about how malaria is transmitted? Do they take precautions to prevent malaria, such as covering or removing standing water?
-If someone is suffering from malaria, what medical services are available in your area? Are they accessible and affordable?