Efforts to Fight Malaria and Tuberculosis Continue Across the Globe

Efforts to Fight Malaria and Tuberculosis Continue Across the Globe

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Malaria is a global issue. Roughly 3.2 billion people — nearly half of the entire global population — are at risk of malaria. In 2015, approximately 214 million people contracted malaria, which resulted in 438,000 deaths.

Luckily, there is some good news.

According to a new study published in the journal, Nature, despite these high levels of malaria cases, efforts to fight the disease across Africa have actually cut the rate of infections in half since 2000. And the global rate of malaria infections has been decreased by nearly 60%.

Another infectious and deadly disease, tuberculosis, killed 1.8 million people last year, more than AIDS and malaria combined.

“I want to walk again, to work again,” said William Campos, a clothes vendor who is halfway though his treatment for the bacterial infection. “I want to get up in the morning, get on a bus, and head to the countryside.”

Peru and many of its residents have been struggling with tuberculosis for years and have been hoping for potential eradications.

Fox News Health reports that there are 30,000 Peruvians with tuberculosis. The major issue in some of these poorer communities in Peru, and around the world, is that health services are usually inadequate and can’t follow through with the necessary treatments for these lethal diseases, many of which take anywhere from six months to a few years to treat.

A Boston-based non-profit company, Partners in Health (PIH), has attempted to address this issue in Peru, and then the rest of the world later on. PIH trains volunteers in these communities to assist patients in their own homes who are struggling with tuberculosis and other diseases. PIH stresses the importance of proper medication administration and scheduling, as forgetting to take medication or over or under dosing can pose serious health threats.

The volunteers, nearly all of whom are women, are extremely active in their communities and have proven better at assisting tuberculosis patients than area doctors.

“I used to cry constantly,” Campos added. “The pain was so unbearable. I even thought about killing myself. But thanks to Mrs. Guadalupe [PIH aid] I have hope to push through this.”