Tuesday , October 4 2022

Malaria threatens the Colombian Pacific



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"Venezuelan immigration, and in some cases their arrival in illegal gold mining, has affected the increase in malaria in the country since 2015, especially in municipalities such as Guapi, on the Pacific coast."

This is the conclusion of Professor Vladimir Corredor of the National University Medical School after conducting some blood tests in a group of patients diagnosed in this Caucasian population whose details were received by the UN news agency.

According to the report, Guapi is the second affected municipality in the Cauca section for this disease, with 83 cases, after Timbiquí with 289 cases, according to the National Public Health Surveillance System (Sivigila), which records 422 cases.

"Migrations are closely linked to the problem of illegal mining.In recent years the problem has increased and so we recorded it in the samples received by professionals from the Department's Department of Health, where we show that some of them come from Venezuela, more than 1,500 kilometers away, "said Teacher

As he explained, when the mines enter, he opens wells that become mosquito breeding sites, which increases his density and therefore increases the circulation of the parasite. If immigrants arrive from distant places, they can in turn carry genetic variants of these parasites they have not seen here and that they may have resistance to anti-malarial drugs.

Weak diagnostic network

Cases have been increased due to the presence of Plasmodium vivax and Plasmodium falciparum, both transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, especially the second, which is the most infectious. It is believed that the cause of this increase is due to the fact that the country has weakened the diagnostic diagnosis network.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cases of malaria in Venezuela have steadily increased in recent years: from nearly 36,000 in 2009 to over 406,000 in 2017.

Similarly, an official document drawn up by the Inter-American Health Organization, the UNAIDS and the Department of Health of Venezuela state that this epidemic continues in more than nine Venezuelan states.

According to the Colombian Ministry of Health and Social Protection, data from January 1 to July 14, 2017, compared to the same dates in 2018, saw an increase in malaria from 449 to 858.

Mines, focus on infection

"In Guapi, we have seen that the peaks of the epidemic are highly related to mining, as many of the miners do not belong to the subsidized regime, so if there is no control system on these points, the problem will continue. the target of contamination, who are the illegal miners, "the researcher added.

In this sense, it is proposed by the Academy to improve the microscope network in public hospitals, to require more of the private network and to improve control systems, including mobile diagnostic units, to be transferred to the places where they are presented. epidemic peaks.

The UN academic body noted that another important problem is that antimalarial factors are becoming more resilient because patients use drugs not formulated by health professionals or use non-parasite-friendly drugs

Malaria of Plasmodium falciparum uses Artemether and lumefantrine, a derivative of Artemisinin, a very important drug for its rapid action, and for the treatment of malaria Plasmodium vivax Chloroquine and Primaquine.

"What we see is that humans infected with Plasmodium falciparum do not use other drugs, such as chloroquine and the combination of sulfadixine-pyrimethamine, which has created resistance to artemisinin, which would eventually mean a very great failure. these parasites spread to the country, since there is no way to deal with them, "he said.

For this study, the municipality's microscope was trained, which took the samples on a filter paper in which a drop of contaminated blood was deposited, and then the DNA was extracted to make the sequence. Then the infected red blood cells are separated from other cells to make the analysis.

Professor Corredor reported that the study was conducted in order to provide a picture of parasitic mutations in this area, which would allow conclusions on the anti-malarial resistance and demographics of the parasite associated with urban demography.

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