Archive Page 2

14
Dec
11

Technology to combat Malaria

Although it is a treatable disease Malaria still claims many lives within a year, far more than what is acceptable especially when we have the means to treat it. In the world today Malaria infection rates are climbing, especially in areas such as sub-saharan Africa. Many types of technologies were developed in order treat and prevent the disease, but as with AIDS prevention starts with awareness.

As like with AIDS the first technologies that can be used to combat Malaria are those that you find right at home. By educating others about the disease, places where it resides and how to protect themselves against it society builds up a collaborative resistance just through awareness. With Malaria the largest of problems is that treatment is not affordable or available in the parts of the world that need it the most. The best we can help this is through donations, electric transfers of money that can occur right within our own homes and computers, even in the smallest amounts, can make a difference in another part of the world.

Other more advanced technologies used to combat Malaria include:

1. Malaria Vaccine – Malaria although treatable has no effective vaccination that would be practical for clinical use. It has undergone extreme study in the past years and scientists everyday are looking for new ways to create a Vaccination for the disease. Part of the reason as to why creating a vaccine is so difficult is due to the fact that the Plasmodium virus is very susceptible to evolution and adaptation. It is able to develop resistances and immunities to different types of medication. This also makes the Plasmodium virus vary from person to person, making it even harder to find a universal cure.

2. Drug treatment – Depending on the Plasmodium strand that is present in the carrier a differing series of over the counter drugs may be administered to weaken or kill the virus. This is the most effective treatment for malaria but is expensive and not easily accessibly to third world countries. Also many people have a hard time following up on the drugs as they do not know how to follow prescription and often believe that only a single dosage is enough to cure a person.

Technology does not only go as far as treatments and vaccines either, it extends to the finer hardware behind finding these viruses and producing the drugs behind them. These technologies (also applicable to AIDS) include microscopes (SEM, TEM), precision tools (cell needles), thousands of chemical agents used in both research and production process and precision lab instruments used in assembly and breakdown of products (includes things like x-ray machines, scan machines, gamma ray microwaves etc.)

Malaria is a disease that i believe is truly being combatted by technology better than most any other disease and will son show improvement as the technology used to cure becomes more and more readily available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References:

in links

http://www.traveldoctor.info/diseases/1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria_vaccine (citations not included)

14
Dec
11

Technology to Fight AIDS

Without the help of modern day science and technology we would be for the most part completely vulnerable to AIDS. Even with the technology that is available to us today we have only come far enough to suppress the disease and prevent others from getting in the first place. We have not as of yet been able to cure someone with AIDS of the problem.

Technology is still advancing everyday though, soon a vaccine for AIDS may be a reality and we may be able to cure the disease once and for all. Of course, this may still be very far off.

There are wide range of technologies in use today to try and rid the world of the AIDS problem and not all of them involve extreme planning, complicated scientific process or even major funding. In fact some of the most successful campaigns to fight against AIDS start with the technologies we have right around our homes. The best way to solve the problem of AIDS is to prevent AIDS in the first place and the best way to prevent AIDS is to bring awareness to AIDS. Many individuals have created web pages, groups, clubs and blogs to bring awareness to the AIDS problem. In this way the technology that we have at home can be some of our greatest tools for fighting AIDS. Social media and even cellular devices have become a tool of technology used to fight AIDS, click here for more info.

A look at the importance of HIV/AIDS awareness

Of Course in the field of AIDS, simple technologies alone will not be enough to fight the disease, we must also look toward building newer technology to meet new breakthroughs and success in the AIDS department.

Some new technologies being Used include: 

1. Microbicides  – A technology that is directly used to prevent HIV infection by putting up actual chemical barriers to the virus.

2. AIDS vaccine – The most obvious choice to cure AIDS, although it is far from the easiest solution. Unlike a regular vaccination an AIDS vaccine would require a complete chemical reverse engineer of the virus.

3. Neutralizing Anti bodies – involves extracting AIDS specific antibodies only present in a few people, storing them and analyzing them in order to make a chemical vaccine with the same properties.

Technology is a useful and sometimes simple tool that we can all use in order to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS.

References:

All in links

12
Dec
11

Dr. Alphonse Leveran Discoverer of Malaria

Dr. Alphonse Leveran was born on June 18, 1845 in Paris, In his adult life he became an Army surgeon working on the front lines of Algeria. He is regarded as the discoverer of the Malaria parasite. While working in the military the disease that is now known as malaria was a major problem in the Army. Being a surgeon Leveran often had the chance to examine patients with the disease. He came up with extremely accurate clinical details of the virus and studied its anatomic pathology. His goal was to find the causal agent of the disease.

In 1880 Leveran finally discovered the answer. For the past few years Leveran had patiently and ceaselessly studied blood samples from infected soldiers and had found some constant variables, mainly small spore like objects that he saw which floated in the blood, however these “spores” showed no sign of life or movement and Leveran could deduce nothing other than the fact that they must be related to the disease in some way. On November 6, 1880 he saw in the blood sample of a patient what he described as “fill-form elements that move with great vivacity”. By chance Leveran had discovered the malaria parasite in an evolutionary stage which usually only occurs within the anopheles mosquito, from these observations he immediately  decided that he had found the parasite that causes malaria and sent a form to the academy of medicine stating that he had found a “protozoan parasite” that is the cause of malaria.

Leveran’s discovery is invaluable to medical community as his patience and determination found what might not have been found until many years later when newer technology would make it more easily possible. Leveran’s contribution allowed for the Medical community to discover the disease far earlier and also begin to develop treatments and cures far earlier, thus saving thousands of lives.

References: 

http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/history/laveran.html

12
Dec
11

Dr. John Zaia

Dr. John Zaia, a virologist who works with the City of Hope cancer centre is a leading scientists looking in to new and innovative ways to cure the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Zaia is a leader in both research and in running clinical trials for gene therapy in the HIV/AIDS field. Zaia tests in a variety of fields for potential treatments and cures for the HIV/AIDS disease. Many of his projects and potential cures go back to Stem cell research, which he believes is the key to curing the disease. Zaia’s research includes using stem cells that are grown into blood cells that ultimately are impervious to HIV (this is plausible as this is a naturally occurring phenomenon in some people), these cells are then matched with a patients and then are used to replace infected cells.

Zaia is literally at the front of all HIV/AIDS research and is well recognized by the HIV/AIDS scientific community. Many of his colleagues work in similar institutions overseas and work with him on joint projects on the HIV/AIDS area. Zaia’s newest project which involves extracting stem cells and re implanting them with the RNA’s necessary to fight off the HIV disease is in the process of development and under clinical trial.

A look at how stem cells work

References: 

http://www.cityofhope.org/about/publications/hope-news/2009-vol-4-num-2-january-19/Pages/john-zaia-honored-as-the-first-endowed-chair-in-gene-therapy.aspx

11
Dec
11

USAID (United States Agency for International Development)

USAID is a governmental organizations founded in 1961 by then U.S president John F. Kennedy in order to ” be primarily responsible for administering foreign aid”. The goal that it was created under was to “extend a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country.*”

In 1986 the USAID founded its health department and began the HIV/AIDS project. Since the programs inception the USAID has been the largest contributing member to solving the AIDS problem across the planet. It has been on the front lines of fighting AIDS and makes invaluable contributions each year towards solving the crisis.

Since 1986 USAID HIV/AIDS division has put forward over $7 billion in order to fight AIDS around the planet. It has also allied itself with U.S Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) thus creating the most intuitive, well funded and most diverse AIDS relief program in the world.

USAID receives much of its funding from the U.S government, last year receiving close to $7 billion in order to fight the disease. $3.6 billion of this goes directly to various AIDS programs around the planet, with 2 billion of the total budget aimed solely at Africa. USAID support over 50 different countries with this funding in varying amounts depending on the AIDS threat in that region.

USAID is a driving force behind the Fight Against AIDS and I believe that It is an organization that is truly making a difference in the lives of many people.

References: 

http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Agency_for_International_Development

http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/global_health/aids/Funding/index.html

*cited from outside source

11
Dec
11

Africa Fighting Malaria (NGO)

AFM is non-governmental organization headquartered in both Washington D.C and South Africa. It’s mission as stated y the them is to “educate people about the scourge of malaria and the political economy of malaria control”. The NGO basically operates by promoting economic freedom and market based solutions to solve the malaria problem. By promoting economic freedom through ways such as creating jobs and educating people, they can make an impact on the future by making medical care more affordable and by creating awareness about Malaria.

AFM is also devoted to making the federal governments of these countries more aware of the Virus and makes them more accountable for the health of their citizens. AFM brings awareness to all Malaria inflicted areas about their own role in preventing Malaria and the governments role as well.

One of the main ways that AFM looks to fight the Malaria problem is by introducing and promoting the pesticide DDT. As is stated by the AFM, DDT is a very important and useful tool in fighting malaria when used in controlled amounts and environments. This is the most controversial point made by the organization as DDT is a potentially environmentally threatening pesticide that could irreversibly harm a species. Many environmentalists say that AFM is just looking for a way to turn attention away from the matter of environmental sustainability as the AFm is affiliated with at least two resource mining companies.

AFM is funded through many sources but makes a clear statement of not accepting any funding from the government, insecticide industry or the pharmaceutical industry. Much of the money that flows into AFM is also made through donations from around the globe. They also receive funding from  NUMBER health-care and mining corporations.

http://fightingmalaria.org/  ——————–> heres a link to the AFM website

References: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Africa_Fighting_Malaria

http://fightingmalaria.org/

11
Dec
11

Tanzania vs. Malaria

Across all of Africa, Tanzania is considered one of the highest risk malaria zones on the planet. Located right on top of the sub-saharan plains, this country is a breeding zone for the Anopheles mosquito, and more commonly the breeding zone of the P. falciparum malaria strain.

According to the WHO the average life expectancy in Tanzania from birth is only fifty-nine years, this number is lessened as time goes by due to living conditions and medical access. In Tanzania malaria is the leading cause of death to children under the age of 15, 7.6% of all deaths in the country are under five years of age. This is mainly due to a lack of access to proper medical care, many of the individuals living with malaria in Tanzania are also living in impoverished conditions. In 2009 40% of the people in Tanzania could not afford primary health care. Many people in Tanzania are also uneducated on the topic of malaria and thus cannot know how to deal with it, what to look for and where to go once the problem is realized. A poll in in the country a few years ago shows that many people in the country wish to be educated in the topic o malaria but cannot find the means to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The problems with malaria and AIDs in all African countries seem to come back to the same problem, poverty. Without access to a public health care, primary education and proper sanitation malaria will continue to become a growing problem in Tanzania and will continue to affect many lives.

 

 

 

References: 

http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/schisto/wherewework/tanzania

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanzania