Saturday, April 7, 2012

The End

I’m leaving Madagascar today. After two years on the Big Red Island, having only left to visit Egypt, I’m heading to the West—I’ll be in South Africa for ten days and then I’m back in Seattle, and starting the job search in DC.

(So if you have job leads or ideas of work in the DC area, please do let me know…:)

Bye Madland—it’s been interesting. Hello South Africa…

Friday, April 6, 2012

Malaria Month--BAMM!

If you follow multiple volunteer blogs, you may be experiencing a bit of deja vu this month--it’s BAMM! (Blog About Malaria Month). During April, Peace Corps Volunteers all over Africa are blogging and tweeting about their experiences with malaria during their service. Admittedly I'm on my way out, but that doesn't prevent me from sharing a little info as I leave.

Malaria is a blood-borne parasite that hitches a ride on the bite of a certain type of nocturnal mosquito. When it gets into your bloodstream, the parasites multiply in red blood cells and then burst out of them, which causes initial sign of illness like fevers, aches, and chills.

When I asked my community about major illness during my initial site surveys, malaria was always at the top of the list as a reason why people ended up in the hospital. This is especially dangerous in my area since we have a high rate of falciparum malaria, a.k.a. nasty deadly cerebral malaria.

A combination of prevention (like mosquito nets) and early treatment sharply reduces the incidence of malaria.

Malaria was eradicated in the U.S. in 1951. No kidding. It was one of the CDC's first major initiatives. With organization and education, complete eradication is a possibility.

Malaria is the number one killer in Africa. Over 90% of deaths from malaria occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. 60% of deaths are children under 5.

In Madagascar, malaria is the second leading cause of hospital mortality and the third leading cause of morbidity for children under five.

April 25th is World Malaria Day.

Want more info? Check out the official Stomp Out Malaria webpage, and get on Facebook and “like” the Stomp Out Malaria page.