Malaria versus Aids in Africa
Malaria vs Aids in Africa, Which One Killed More
Malaria has been known by man for centuries and AIDs has been around for nearly 7 decades. As per the Medical Daily report of 2014, “Malaria and AIDs are far more serious than Ebola, killing thousands of people in Africa every year” (Bushak 2). Malaria and AIDs have been wiping out people in astonishing rates for decades now, and these diseases have not been receiving as much press. While these diseases kill millions of African people every year, research shows that more people will continue to die out of the two. But, the biggest tragedy is that Malaria is already an uncontrollable pandemic and HIV infection is on a dramatic rise in the African countries (Boseley 6). However, on absolute figures per annum, AIDs is more deadly. This research paper will argue that AIDs has killed and kills more people than Malaria in Africa.
Malaria Deaths compared to HIV/AIDs in Africa by Numbers
In (Bushak 3) Medical Daily, HIV/AIDs have been very rampant in Sub-Saharan Africa and it kills approximately 1.2 million patients every year. In the past 5 decades, the rate at which people were infected of HIV/AIDs was very high, with numbers increasing each day. A death toll reaching 1.2 million per year caused alarm to the public. Fortunately, the rate of HIV/AIDs in Africa has been decreasing over the last decade, with the number of deaths also decreasing. In 2012, report released by UNAIDS shown a 25 percent decrease in new HIV infections between 2001 and 2011 in Africa, a rate that converted to a 5 percent reduction in AIDs death rates. Unlike Malaria which is more prevalent in Sub-Saharan and Tropical Africa, where it has been eradicated in countries like South Africa- HIV/AIDs is prevalent across all African countries (Health24 8). There have been low-cost advanced taken by the government, the WHO and other concerned stakeholders to limit the spread and death of AIDS in Africa. But still, up to 30 percent of the South Africa and Botswana populations die annually out of this disease. While Malaria has been controllable in these African countries, HIV/AIDs have been difficult to control.
In the case of Malaria, the disease has been evidenced in Africa and the world at large for many decades now. The disease, which is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, is transmitted by mosquitos and kills children, the old, and the middle aged people every minute. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50 percent of the world’s population is at stake and risk of Malaria. In Africa, the disease kills over 600,000 people every year. The 2012 WHO report revealed that there were approximately 207 million cases of Malaria in Africa where 627,000 deaths were reported (World Health Organization 2). The most vulnerable people to Malaria are living in the poorest African countries. The 2012 WHO report claimed that “90 percent of all Malaria deaths occur in African, and Children aged below 5 years are highly affected”. Malaria is most common in Sub-Saharan and Tropical Africa, so countries like South Africa have very little cases of it. While Malaria kills less people annually as compared to HIV/AIDs, there is no vaccination or cure available for it. The hope in protecting the African population from Malaria lies in eradicating mosquitos through spraying, avoiding sewerage, and getting rid of stagnant water (Parpia, Ndeffo-Mbah and Galvani 433).
AIDs and Malaria in Africa
According to the WHO, one of the most important public health issues in Africa is HIV/AIDs. In Africa, AIDs is among the leading causes of death, with Malaria, Tuberculosis, and Ebola also being in the rank. Globally, AID may not be deadlier than Malaria (Health24 4). But in Africa, the number of annual deaths caused by HIV/AIDs is on the lead when compared to Malaria. While AIDs comprises slightly fewer than 20 percent of the world population, Africans account for approximately 70 percent of the HIV infected patients and those dying of AIDs. The WHO states that Southern Africa exhibits pandemic-level HIV infection rates and AIDs deaths, with extreme levels being reported in Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Swaziland. In contrast, North African countries exhibit a few cases of AIDs related deaths.
In DoSomething.org, there are approximately 23.8 million people living with HIV/AIDs in Africa (DoSomething.org 4). The disease has been difficult to control for it is sexually transmitted. Out of the 70 percent infected Africans, most people have coiled and rejected taking ARVs, something which is making the rate of AIDs death remain stagnant and uneasy to reduce in the continent. Pregnant mothers have been in a greater risk, with 91 percent of the world’s HIV-positive kids living in Africa (Bushak 9). In Africa, over 1 million children and adults are dying every year from AIDs. HIV/AIDs have become an epidemic now, with approximately 36 million people having died of AIDs since its break out and spreading across Africa. According to the 2014 WHO report, 71 percent of AID’s related deaths were people living in Africa. Due to AIDs, the average life-expectancy in Tropical and Sub-Saharan Africa has reduced to 54.4 years while in some other African countries; this is below 49 years of age.
In the other side, while the 2012 WHO’s figures ranked Malaria among the top five deadliest diseases in Africa, HIV/AIDs was ranked number one, with Malaria coming 4th after lower respiratory tract infections and diarrheal diseases (World Health Organization 7). As noted above, Malaria kills over 600,000 people every year, half the number of deaths caused by AIDs in Africa every year. According to the WHO advocacy, six African nations account for nearly 50 percent of global malaria deaths: Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, and Uganda. This statistical fact revels that Malaria is not a pandemic disease in Africa as a whole, only a few countries are affected by its effects. In Contrast, HIV/AIDs is transmitted to almost equal rates across Africa, reporting higher numbers of victims in every country. Also in terms of deaths, the number of people dying of AIDs across Africa is double to that of Malaria cases.
Other facts about Malaria are argued in (Robert and Judy 5), the number of deaths attributed to Malaria infections have been rare in Africa over the past decade. Unlike HIV/AIDs, malarial infections and deaths are universal in the African population, and the pathogen presence is an insufficient marker of disease. Africans dying from Malaria represent the public heath expenses of developing immunity at a population level. According to (Health24 20), Malaria related deaths are generally concentrated among people living with poorly developed immunity, especially young children aged below 5 years who bear the brunt of the death burden. While these stats hold, Malaria deaths are rising in the South African countries especially during holidays. However, since these increased rates are reported during holidays only, the numbers of Malaria deaths are far less compared to those of AIDs. Every African country has felt the effect of AIDs, and each day the number of HIV transmission and deaths is high despite the preventive measures being advocated for by the concerned stakeholders.
However, other scientists and medical researchers argue that Malaria kills more than AIDs. According to medical experts report, the rate at which Malaria is killing people outshines that of HIV/AIDs in African countries. Malaria is believed to attack and claim thousands of lives in Africa each year. Feedbacks from a number of medical experts interviewed by Health Matters reveal that Malaria kills at a faster rate that HIV/AID does. Although Malaria is not the main cause of deaths in Africa, the number of lives claimed by the disease exceed that of AIDs. According to (Boseley 5), this is attributed to the inability of the patients to have the right access to proper medical care. Most people who report in health clinics get diagnosed of Malaria, and nearly every death has some connection with this disease. Since time immemorial, Malaria has been a killer disease, and has therefore killed many people in comparison to AIDs. Some medical experts have confirmed that Malaria is killing many people at a faster rate that HIV/AIDs. In this perspective, people are advised to remain mindful and watchful of their health in order to cover the outbreak of Malaria and its related diseases.
As per (World Health Organization 21) research and data, both Malaria and HIV cause over 2 million deaths each year across the African countries. Given the considerable geographical overlap in Africa between HIV/AIDs and Malaria, a substantial number of co-infections occur. In the African countries where malarial transmission is stable, HIV increases malarial infection risks in children and adults. In countries with unstable Malaria transmission, HIV/AIDs infected adults are at heightened risks of converting severe and complicated malaria and death. Reports by the WHO also indicate that anti-malarial treatment failure is more common in HIV/AIDs infected victims with low CD4-cell counts when compared to the people not infected with HIV/AIDs. This clearly shows that malaria has a great impact on the natural source and history of AIDs. Also, this information shows that every HIV/AIDs death has some root connection with Malaria; a feature that qualifies Malaria is the most killing disease in Africa that AIDs.
Combating Malaria and AIDs in Africa
The WHO has been in the forefront to combating Malaria and HIV/AIDs in order to reduce death rates in African countries. As per the 2014 WHO report, over 35 million Africans were living with HIV/AIDs as at 2013 (World Health Organization 10). In the same year, close to 1.2 million individuals in middle and low-income countries were accessing antiretroviral therapy (ARVs) where over two-thirds of the 1.2 HIV victims were witnessed in sub-Saharan Africa. Africa as a continent has been moving towards achieving the set Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), where the Global Health Sector Strategy on AIDs and Malaria is being advanced.
The WHO has come up with 6 operational goals of efficiently supporting the African countries in moving towards HIV/AIDS infection and death rates. These objectives include the elimination of HIV/AIDs in children, the increase use of ARV’s from HIV infected people, improved health sector response to HIV in all African countries, further innovation of HIV/AIDs diagnosis, prevention, and treatment, establishing bold links between HIV and its related health outcomes, and other strategic information for effective eradication and scale up (World Health Organization 12).
In the case of Malaria, the WHO has recommended five strategies of tackling and reducing malarial-related deaths. These strategic objectives include diagnostic testing and treatment, preventive therapies for children, infants, and pregnant mothers, prevention with long- lasting insecticidal nets and spraying, tracking of all malarial cases with a surveillance system, and scaling high to control against emerging insecticide and drug resistance.
In conclusion, Malaria and AIDs are among the top killer diseases in Africa. While Malaria is concentrated in some parts of Africa, HIV/AIDs cut across all African countries. As per the research findings, AIDs kills two times more as compared to Malaria, with numbers being approximated as 1.2 million and 600,000 for AIDs and Malaria respectively. The WHO, medical experts, the government, and other interested stakeholders have been in the leading line to fighting the spread of Malaria and AIDs. At the moment, it is only the poor and developing African countries that continue to report malarial-related deaths. In the same countries, people continue to die out of AIDs. Ignorance by people to know their health status is going against the WHO and the government’s initiatives and strategy of limiting AIDs related deaths, as people keep dying each day. Whichever the case, both AIDs and Malarial related deaths need to be counteracted.
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DoSomething.org. “11 FACTS ABOUT HIV IN AFRICA.” 2018. 26 February 2019. <https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-hiv-africa>.
Health24. “Malaria deaths in South Africa climb.” Malaria 14 October 2016. <https://www.health24.com/Medical/Malaria/Malaria-in-South-Africa/Malaria-deaths-in-South-Africa-climb-20141202>.
Parpia, Alyssa S, Wenzel, N S Ndeffo-Mbah and A P Galvani. “Effects of response to 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak on deaths from malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, West Africa.” Emerging infectious diseases 22.3 (2016): 433.
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World Health Organization. “Malaria in HIV/AIDS patients.” 2017. <https://www.who.int/malaria/areas/high_risk_groups/hiv_aids_patients/en/>.
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