A widespread set of infectious and severe African diseases have greatly manifested due to the severity of poverty in the said region. It is seemingly at odds that Africa, although known for its abundant resources, up to this day stays behind the world’s rapid growth and development and remains to be the world’s poorest and underdeveloped continent. It is one of the end results of many factors which may have contributed to the spread of many deadly and infectious diseases most especially as many people lack or do not have access to modern healthcare.
Relatively, three of the most infectious diseases which have caused a great number of deaths and illnesses around the world are found in Africa, namely AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. However, these are just one among the many types of African diseases found in the continent. To name, a few more diseases found in African countries are Amebiasis, Cholera, Ebola, Hepatitis, Typhoid, and Dengue, which are persistently harmful and can be easily transmitted.
These diseases are most likely categorized according to its source or host. One of the main sources are the infected insects or mosquitoes such as the Aedes mosquito, which causes dengue fever, and mosquitoes infected with the Plasmodium parasite, which causes Malaria. In most cases, such diseases are also transmitted from contaminated food and water which causes diarrhea and vomiting. Among these types of diseases are Cholera, Amebiasis, Hepatitis, Polio, and Typhoid fever.
Another type of diseases commonly found in Africa may be transmitted through sexual intercourse or intimate contact, mainly AIDS or HIV, and since there is still no available cure or vaccine for such, it is best to avoid circumstances which may possibly perpetuate one. There are also other types of diseases which are mainly found in Africa; among them are Schitsomiasis or better known as snail fever, which is an infection from a type of Schistosoma parasite that swims freely in open bodies of water, and African Trypanosomiasis or “sleeping sickness,” which is spread by the tsetse fly and becomes fatal whenever untreated.
Other than that, leprosy, elephantiasis and trachoma, which are curable and have been eradicated in the developed world, are still prevalent among the rural areas of Africa. Nevertheless, this blight can be prevented by following safety precautions and preventive measures to ensure one’s safety in travelling or living in Africa. To reduce mosquito bites, one should be well equipped with mosquito repellants or nets and wear clothing that can cover exposed parts of the body. In fact, there are some countries which may require vaccination and certificate for entry for certain types of diseases, particularly the yellow fever.
The innumerable cases of these diseases and health problems in the continent are mainly the result of poverty, neglect, and political instability. High concentration of illiteracy in the poor regions contributes even more to the slow progress and breakthrough of medical aid in the continent. The killer diseases of the mass that are commonly known and thought of, nonetheless, as the African diseases are at present a pressing problem that needs a promising resolution.
Tips and comments:
It is important to know the facts about African diseases, especially if one is planning to travel to Africa. Learn about the common origin of each disease, the preventive measures, and the first aid so that you will be well-prepared and equipped prior to your trip.
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