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MSAP Global Health Briefing

Saturday 31st March 2018

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Upcoming events & opportunities

Join us next Saturday for a student march calling on the government to allow Australian medical personnel to independently assess the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. 

You can also support the cause at a Sign-making session and have a therapeutic afternoon of arts & craft this Thursday (Click HERE!)
The NJP is non-for-profit law firm which has partnered with MSAP Crossing Borders to gather a team of enthusiastic volunteers to help with building a medical history for offshore detention cases. Click to sign up!
Attention Phase 1! If "TB or not TB" is the only thing you remember then you need to come along for revision + PIZZA & drinks!

In Focus - Malaria

Malaria is an acute febrile illness. Symptoms usually appear 10–15 days after an infective mosquito bite in non-immune individuals.
If initial symptoms are not recognised and treated within 24 hours, malaria can progress to severe illness and, often, death.

At-risk groups:

  • Infants & children under 5**

  • Pregnant women

  • HIV/AIDS patients

  • Non-immune migrants

  • Mobile populations e.g. refugees

  • Travellers

**On average, a child in Uganda has four malaria episodes a year, and any of them could be fatal. Globally in 2016, malaria took the life of a child every 2 minutes. This is tragic for a curable disease.

Australia is free of endemic malaria, but Australians can be infected when travelling to tropical regions in Asia, Africa, and Central or South America.

Treatment

Artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) are the main treatment for malaria. In endemic countries, which are typically low income, treatment distributed by non-for-profits are either unaffordable and/or unavailable.  This can result in patients not taking their full course of treatment, which over time leads to resistance. Despite reported resistance in 5 countries, ACTs are still effective at reducing incidence and mortality. Protecting the efficacy of malaria treatment remains a major global health concern.

Prevention

Vector control is the main way to prevent and reduce malaria transmission. This includes:
Additionally, taking preventative antimalarial drugs before travelling overseas to affected areas is vital to prevent cross-country transmission.
Resistance to insecticides is now prevalent globally, however it remains a strong tool for prevention. Combined, these measures have resulted in more than 633 million cases of malaria averted in sub-Saharan Africa since 2000.
In sub-Saharan Africa, household ownership of at least one mosquito net increased from 50% in 2010 to 80% in 2016. Accessibility to preventative measures is still major problem though.

Bad News, Good News

Progress:

  • Between 2014-2016, 582 million ITNs were delivered globally (90% to sub-Saharan Africa)

  • 2 countries certified malaria free by WHO in 2016 - Kyrgyzstan and Sri Lanka

  • 21 other countries have the potential to eliminate malaria by 2020

Challenges:

  • Treatment and prevention receive less than half the funding needed to reduce incidence of malaria by 40% by 2020

  • Research is underfunded by about 20%

  • Climate change prolongs peak transmission season

Get Involved

SPREAD THE WORD - WORLD MALARIA DAY: April 25th 2018 - a WHO initiative

World Malaria Day: http://www.who.int/campaigns/malaria-day/2017/en/ (plenty of useful info here)

- by Education Officers, Jumaana Abdu & Tajwar Khan
Copyright © 2018 Medical Students Aid Project, All rights reserved.


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