Parasitic Diseases Affecting The World's Poorest

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Around 300-600 million people suffer from malaria each year, and over one million people die from this disease every year, mostly children younger than five. This disease is endemic to over 100 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the South Pacific, almost 40% of the world population. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is transferred by the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The most deadly form of malaria is known as Plasmodium falciparum because almost all deaths from malaria are caused by this specific one. In addition to being the deadliest form of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum destroys red blood cells along with causing complications with the kidneys, lungs, and brain. In more serious cases, it…show more content…
However, the Chinese government had a problem in its own country and in their ally’s that required attention. North Vietnam was in the middle of a war with South Vietnam and the United States had the health of their soldiers compromised because of malaria. The previous drug that used to treat malaria, chloroquine, was becoming increasingly ineffective as the malaria virus evolved which made it resistant to the drug. So the North Vietnamese government asked Mao Zedong, the leader of China at the time, responded by saying “Solving your problem is the same as solving our own”. However, the way he tackled the problem was unique. He created a top-secret military project which excluded China’s top expert in the field of malaria because of his perceived political beliefs. Project 523 was named after the date in which the project began, May 23, 1967, and was under the direction of military authorities with civilian agencies invited to collaborate because of the high priority of the project to the Chinese government. There were three priorities in this project: the identification of the new drug treatment for fighting chloroquine-resistant malaria, the development of long-term preventative measures against chloroquine-resistant malaria, and the development of mosquito repellents. However, according to Zhou Yiqing who was also a member of Project 523, the team has two branches, one developing
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