A Partner West Africa News Story
Story 18 of 211
Volunteer in malaria or do academic research in Ghana with Partner West Africa

#volunteertakeover News

Date Posted: 20/07/2018

Volunteer Stewart writes about Malaria and the research for his maters dissertation that he’s been conducting here in Ghana.

Volunteer Stewart writes about Malaria and the research for his maters dissertation that he’s been conducting here in Ghana.

 

“Malaria is a global health concern for numerous countries, particularly those that lie around and below the equator. Transmission pathways to human arise most commonly from the female Anopheles mosquito that are vectors for the Plasmodium parasite. During a blood-meal, the infected mosquito transfers the parasite into the human blood systems where the parasites reproduce and multiply in the hosts liver and cause adverse effects by destroying the hosts red blood cells.

 

Symptoms

Initial symptoms of malaria are similar to that of flu and fever so mis-diagnosis is common. If the disease is allowed to continue, more severe symptoms such as shivering, vomiting, seizures, impaired consciousness, convulsions, abdominal bleeding and clinical jaundice can occur. Latter stages include vital organ dysfunction and failure and without treatment, severe forms of malaria can result in death.

 

Diagnosis

Microscopic laboratory blood testing or rapid diagnostic testing, and the subsequent conformation of the Plasmodium parasite is advised by the World Health Organisation.  Due to malaria (especially in the early stages) resembling the flu, parasite identification tests are needed to identify the disease so the appropriate treatment (depending on the stages of malaria) can begin.

An early diagnosis of the disease is crucial for treatment and thus survival rates.

 

Treatment

Once the Plasmodium has been identified, treatment can begin to eliminate the parasite from the hosts blood stream. Many methods of treatment are available and can be based on global location, money and numerous other factors. The recommended treatment from the WHO is Artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). This is used as a method of treatment to combat malaria and is derived from the Artemisia annua plant and works by reducing the concentration of the Plasmodium parasites that are in the blood stream during the first 3 days in infection. This is then combined with a partner drug that eliminated the rest of the Plasmodium. Herbal remedies are also present in many sub-Saharan countries.

Additionally, malaria can be prevalent without symptoms if the hosts is immune. However, treatment may still go ahead to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission.

Find out more about malaria in this interesting article here

 

Public Health Research

My research in Ghana is looking at public health issues across various smaller communities in the Ga South district in Greater Accra. Interviews have been conducted with a variety of medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and public health workers. The purpose of my interviews was to gain insight into what the greatest health concerns the public here are facing. So far, numerous health issues have been identified and trends are beginning to show that issues like sexual health and sanitation are problems health professionals face on a day-to-day basis. However, it is clear that no matter who the interviewee was, their profession or where they worked, that the greatest public health issue currently facing the communities here is malaria.”

 

Find out more about how PWA can support you in your academic research by contacting us directly at volunteering@partnerwestafrica.org

Author: Stewart - PWA Volunteer

Donation Payment Methods

CharityCheckout

Charity Checkout accepts all major debit and credit cards and allows you to make one-off or monthly donations that will be used to support our charity in general, so if you would like to donate to a specific appeal, or become a sponsor of our Daycare & Nursery Centre, please follow the donation information provided within those specific appeals. All donations to PWA are regulated by the UK Charities Commission and in line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

JustGiving

JustGiving is a great fundraising site for friends of our charity who would like to set up their own fundraising pages, alllowing your friends and family to donate towards your specific project, aims or objectives with PWA. If you set up a JustGiving fundraising page, you describe your story and reasons for supporting PWA & your donors can link through to PWA's JustGiving page to learn about our charity & its work. All donations are regulated by the UK Charities Commission and made in line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

Direct Bank-to-Bank Transfers

PWA banks with the Co-operative Bank, UK, the leading bank for charitable organisations. If you are a UK or international bank account holder, donations can be made quickly & simply online. You can also use this method to make one-off donations or to set up monthly donations to our charity. Please contact us to request our bank account details to set up a bank transfer. All donations made to PWA are regulated by the UK Charities Commission & made in-line with our Terms & Conditions. Thank you.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Copyright © Partner West Africa 2018                           Partner West Africa is an officially registered UK-charity - UK Charities Commission Registration No: 1152479