The disease entity known today as malaria has been in existence for over four thousand years. Ancient Chinese medical writings had documented its characteristic symptoms as far back as 2700BC. A cursory look into the archeology and history of civilizations across the globe maps Malaria in a central position as the disease had widespread effects, depopulating societies and war camps alike. In addition to the striking similarity of the symptoms, swampy grassy environment was observed to be another common denominator. This discovery birthed the first postulate that the disease was caused by the air vapour arising from the swampy areas and before long, the Italians christened the disease to be called Mala-Aira meaning “Bad Air” which present day English language now translates as Malaria.
Clearly we have come a very long way today; we now know that the mosquito-borne disease is not only treatable, but that it is Preventable, and history proves that it can be eradicated. Several countries have successfully eradicated malaria but it is still a huge burden across Sub-Saharan Africa. This edition’s spotlight on malaria focuses on Nigeria. Nigeria’s Ministry of Health declares that 60% of all hospital presentation is due to malaria.
Why is malaria still so prevalent in Nigeria? Where does the real problem lie? What are our immediate challenges? Is there any hope to end malaria in sight? The obvious need to raise deliberate conversations like this is why HALA Social Intelligence hosted an online series of panelists right here on our website in commemoration of the World Malaria Day (April 25th). We had the pleasure of featuring Dr. Nnenna Ezeigwe, the current National Coordinator of the Nigerian Malaria Control Program, NMCP and Sir. Patrick Ikemefuna, the Chairman of the World Malaria Day Committee as discussants. These were followed by a 3 hours Twitter Live Chat anchored by @Omojuwa.
As aptly crafted by Prof. Wellington Oyibo (Consultant Medical Parasitologist, LUTH/CMUL and our featured guest contributor for this edition), clinical malaria and its complications have become an all too familiar smooth operator, largely because its prevalence in this area has caused diverse misconceptions among the general populace, and even among some healthcare providers. What many people do not know is that malaria in a regular adult does not tantamount to malaria in a child under five years of age. Similarly, malaria in pregnancy is a completely different ball game so we did a special highlight on 50 things you should know… In addition, our XX column gives credence to this critical area, with a spin to a Peadiatric segment dedicated to a unique feature on Febrile Convulsion. We have also provided a step by step home-care solution for Fever in our First Aid segment; and Philomena Nweze’s true life story leaves me speechless.
It has been the pleasure of our dedicated and passionate team to bring you our best edition of HALA Magazine so far! So enjoy flipping through every page of this issue and get at least one friend to read it too. It’s bound to keep you hooked to Africa’s foremost Health Portal!