EVALUATION OF MALARIA TREATMENT AMONG PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIVAIDS
1.1 Background of study
Malaria and HIV are among the two most important global health problems of developing countries. They cause more than 4 million deaths a year (UNAIDS/WHO, 2004). Malaria, sometimes called the “king of diseases”, is caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Plasmodium. It is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the world (WHO, 2004).
Nine out of ten of these deaths occur in Africa and the rest occurs in Asia and Latin America, being the world’s most prevalent vector-borne disease. It is the fourth leading cause of death of children under the age of five years and pregnant women in developing countries (Martens and Hall, 2000; Rowe et al., 2000).
The proportion increases each year because of deteriorating health systems, growing drug and insecticide resistance, climate change and natural disasters (WHO, 2000) HIV/AIDS is also one of the most destructive epidemics the world has ever witnessed. In 2007 an estimated 33.2 million people were living with HIV worldwide, while 2.5 million of these people were children under 15 years old. Furthermore, 420,000 children under 15 years were newly infected with HIV in 2007.
Nearly 90% of all HIV-positive children live in sub-Saharan Africa. In Ethiopia, while 66% of the population is at risk of malaria, 1.5 million people are infected with HIV (Corbett et al., 2000; Mitike et al., 2002).
In addition to this increased prevalence in developing countries Malaria and HIV/AIDS overlap geographically, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. While infection with either malaria or HIV/AIDS can cause illness and death, infection with one can make infection with the other worse and/or more difficult to treat. The two diseases have particularly devastating effects for those living in malaria endemic regions throughout the world. Pregnant women suffer particularly serious consequences when infected with both HIV/AIDS and malaria. HIV/AIDS can increase the adverse effects of malaria, including anemia and placental malaria infection (Ayisi, 2003).