malaria treatment

Three-year-old Billy was brought to the Doctors Without Borders health post inside Nyarugusu refugee camp - she developed a fever and started vomiting. Her symptoms are typical of malaria: headache, joint pain, vomiting, and other flu like symptoms. MSF Nurse assistant Saidi tested Billy for the disease (a small pin-prick to her finger to get a blood sample, which is tested immediately, on-site, to see if the malaria parasites are present).

This kind of testing is the most reliable way of diagnosing malaria in the camp’s remote and basic environment: little training is needed in order to administer the test; no additional lab equipment is required; and the results are fast to interpret.

Young children are the most vulnerable to malaria - their bodies haven’t built up effective defense against the disease and they do not have fully developed immune systems. 

After her consultation, Billy is given her anti-malarial tablets and some water to take her first dose. MSF uses artemisinin-based combination therapy, which is the most effective malaria treatment. 

Tent to tent across the refugee camp, health promoters explain to refugees how to prevent malaria, how to recognize the symptoms, and how to seek treatment.

In 2016, MSF treated 46,380 refugees in Nyarugusu for malaria. 

Herb of the Week-Sunflower

Latin name: Helianthus annuus
Family: Compositae

A tall, remarkable, annually growing plant which grows up to a height of 3 feet to 10 feet (1 m to 3 m). The sunflower plant has a fleshy, coarse and hairy stem, while the leaves are broad and roughly-textured. In addition, the leaves of this plant have unevenly indented borders with noticeable veins. The plant bears familiar vividly yellow hued flowers that have brownish centers akin to a honeycomb, which are made up of tubular flowers. When these flowers mature, they yield recognizable seeds that have a pale grayish color.

Medicinal Uses:  A tea made from the leaves is astringent, diuretic and expectorant, it is used in the treatment of high fevers. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sores, swellings, snakebites and spider bites. The leaves are harvested as the plant comes into flower and are dried for later use. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of malaria and lung ailments. The flowering head and seeds are febrifuge, nutritive and stomachic. The seed is also considered to be diuretic and expectorant. It has been used with success in the treatment of many pulmonary complaints. A decoction of the roots has been used as a warm wash on rheumatic aches and pains.

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Fun Decolonizing Facts: Soda Edition™

Most major Sodas (in the US?) are based on native beverages and medicines. That’s why so many were invented in like the 1800s by pharmacists, they were commodifying native drinks, medicines, and drugs.

1.       Coca-Cola and Pepsi: The most popular drink is basically just cocaine, a south American herbal substance, and the kola nut, originally from Africa where it was chewed and used like tea but super successful in the Americas. Used super frequently all over the continents but especially in the amazon and the central pan, cocaine was one of the most successful drugs. Kola was brought over and used for teas and such for a while before some white guy mixed the two with wine and sold it. Coca-Cola ta da.

2.       Sprite and etc.: Based on the pine tea and subsequent lemonade type drinks the natives made for scurvy ridden colonists. Their repayment was genocide and not being given credit.

3.       Rootbeer: Made from sassafrass and wintergreen was a common American beverage for a long time before colonization. Interestingly it is almost only popular in North America still to this day.

4.       Seltzer: The first real appropriated beverage was stolen from the Inca as a cure for malaria in the form of quinine. The natives of Tawantinsuyu or the Andes seemed to have enjoyed it for hundreds of years and learned to use it as a treatment once malaria was introduced during colonization.

5.       Ginger Ale: Based off of ginger beers and teas popular in precolonial America. I don’t really like it so that’s all I’ll say.

6.       Dr. Pepper: No one really knows what the main ingredients of Dr. Pepper are but we know it’s not prune juice. Natives had a tea made from Kola and Ginger that was a remedy for digestive problems and when some white guy made Dr. Pepper in the late 1800’s he marketed it as a digestive aid. So… that’s my guess.

The only exception to these origins is Fanta and Mountain Dew. Fanta was made by and for Nazis. Mountain Dew was made by redneck bootleggers during prohibition to wash down moonshine.

So that’s my excuse for my horrendous addiction to Diet Coke. It’s in my blood MOM!


PRINCE AND THE COLOUR PURPLE - What would Prince have done without the color purple? 

In 1856, William Perkins, a London chemist, was trying to synthesise quinine, a malaria treatment made from the bark of the cinchona tree.

He didn’t succeed in his attempts, but when he was doing so, he mixed coal tar extracts with ‘aniline’, a substance used in making dyes and explosives.

The resultant combination was a strong purple colour.
Until then, purple dye was so expensive to produce that only royalty and bishops could wear it. [Hence the color purple’s traditional association with kings, queens, and–more than anyone else–a certain famous Prince.]

Perkins patented his invention and opened a factory in London where he worked with his father and brought purple to the masses. The colour purple made him a rich man.

Mother-of-two Kristen Bell is so pro-vaccine, she keeps anti-vaxxers at arm’s length – literally. “When Lincoln was born [in March 2013], the whooping cough epidemic was growing, and before she was 2 months old, we simply said [to friends], ‘You have to get a whooping cough vaccination if you are going to hold our baby,’ ” says Bell during a chat for This Bag Saves Lives, a tote that supports malaria treatments.                                                                                                        
Bell, set to host the Film Independent Spirit Awards with Fred Armisen on Feb. 21, says she’s doing the same for her second daughter, Delta, born Dec. 19, adding, “It’s a very simple logic: I believe in trusting doctors, not know-it-alls.” [x]

Reason #5,693,297 that Kristen Bell is awesome.


The Sloths That Could Cure Cancer

VICE News host Thomas Morton swings from the trees with an international team of scientists in Panama that’s found a promising treatment for malaria, Chagas disease and breast cancer in the most unlikely place: The mossy fur of tree sloths. It’s yet another reason to not cut down rainforests. About half of all drugs brought to market from 1997-2006 came from plants, fungi and bacteria discovered by “bio-prospectors” in nature. And we see that sloths are just one of many new and unusual frontiers for this research.

Tu Youyou

Pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou was born on December 30, 1930 in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. Tu won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her role in creating a new treatment for malaria. Her research began in the 1960s, when she was recruited for project 523, an effort by the Chinese government to find an anti-malarial drug. She and her team drew on a centuries-old Chinese text in their discovery of artemisinin as a malaria treatment, a development credited with saving millions of lives.

Happy birthday, Tu Youyou!

Youyou Tu is one of three scientists to win the Nobel Prize in medicine. The 12th woman to receive the award, she was recognized for her discoveries around a new malaria treatment – based in centuries-old Chinese medicine.

Artemisinin, when used in combination therapy, is estimated to reduce mortality from malaria by more than 20 percent over all, and by more than 30 percent in children. In Africa alone, it saves more than 100,000 lives each year.

New molecular target identified for treating cerebral malaria

A drug already approved for treating other diseases may be useful as a treatment for cerebral malaria, according to researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. They discovered a novel link between food intake during the early stages of infection and the outcome of the disease, identifying two molecular pathways that could serve as new targets for treatment.

“We have known for a long time that nutrition can affect the course of infectious disease, but we were surprised at how rapidly a mild reduction in food intake could improve outcome in a mouse malaria model,” said senior author James Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases. “However, the real importance of this work is the identification of unexpected molecular pathways underlying cerebral malaria that we can now target with existing drugs.”

The study appears online January 30, 2015 in Nature Communications.

Cerebral malaria — a severe form of the disease — is the most serious consequence of infection by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, resulting in seizures, coma, and death. Currently there is a lack of safe treatment options for cerebral malaria, particularly for use in children, who represent the majority of cases. Even patients who receive early treatment with standard antimalarial chemotherapeutic agents run a high risk of dying, despite clearance of the parasite. Moreover, around 25% of survivors develop neurological complications and cognitive impairment.

Lead authors Pedro Mejia and J. Humberto Treviño-Villarreal, both researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that leptin—a hormone secreted from fat tissue with roles in suppressing appetite, but also in activating adaptive immune and inflammatory responses—is increased upon infection in a mouse model of cerebral malaria, and turns out to be a major bad actor in promoting neurological symptoms and death. Remarkably, Mejia, Treviño-Villarreal and colleagues showed that reducing leptin using a variety of means, either genetically, pharmacologically, or nutritionally by reducing food intake during the first two days of infection, protected against cerebral malaria.

The researchers also found that leptin acted primarily on cytotoxic T cells by turning on the well-studied mTOR protein, for which pharmacologic inhibitors are readily available. In their animal model, treating mice with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin protected them against the neurological complications of cerebral malaria. Protection was due in part to a preservation of the blood brain barrier, which prevented the entry of blood cells carrying the parasites into the brain. As rapamycin is already FDA-approved for use in humans, trials in humans for cerebral malaria treatment with this drug may be possible, according to the researchers.

Quick test for malaria shows promise

A device that fits on a table can diagnose malaria infection by detecting a by-product of the parasite’s growth in the blood. If the technique can be demonstrated to work in the field, it could detect and aid in the treatment of malaria in remote areas, where conventional testing equipment is not always available.

The standard technique for diagnosing malaria infection is to look for Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes the disease, in a sample of the patient’s blood using a microscope. This method requires a trained specialist and is prone to human error. Other available detection techniques are not quantitative and are expensive or impractical to use in the field, especially in developing countries.

Jongyoon Han, a bioengineer at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre, and his colleagues, have devised a diagnostic test that avoids many of those problems. Their method, described in a paper published on 31 August in Nature Medicine1, works with a tiny droplet — as little as 10 microlitres — of blood, and can provide a diagnosis in just a few minutes. In addition, it does not rely on the expertise of a technician.

When P. falciparuminvades red blood cells and feeds on their contents, it breaks down haemoglobin into amino acids and haem, a chemical compound that contains iron. Free haem is toxic, so the parasite quickly converts it into an insoluble crystal known as haemozoin.

“Haemozoin crystals behave like little magnets,” explains Han. He and his team used a technique called magnetic resonance relaxometry (MRR) to detect the magnetic signal of haemozoin in human blood samples that they infected withP. falciparum, and in samples from mice infected with Plasmodium berghei, a mouse model of the disease.

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projectonewwa-admin  asked:

Hello! Project One is a campaign to unite Directioners in support of Malaria No More to buy $1 malaria treatments for children dying of malaria in Africa. Literally one dollar saves a life. We are doing this in honor of the boys that taught us how to make a difference and are taking their work they did with malaria for Comic Relief one step further! If you could please check out our most recent post and share it with your followers it would mean A LOT! We have already saved 11 lives! Thank you!