The Evolution of Infectious Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Infectious Disease in Africa

The earth has been evolving for billions of years, growing in population as well as

advancing technologically for thousands of years. Most places are up to speed with the latest

and greatest new technology. Africa, however, is struggling to get by without any of these

luxuries. They are plagued with disease, contaminated water, and starvation on top of

extreme poverty. But, if disease is everywhere--why has it hit Africa the hardest? Well,

without the funds necessary to supply medical help, disease in Africa is exponential , much

like a weed. Every creature has a natural defense mechanism, an immune system of sorts.

This is also true for earth itself; we as humans are like a weed
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The reason it has become so widespread is because

it has been brought over throughtrade ships and transmitted through sailors , but also due to

the fact that it evolves very quickly and is easily contracted. AIDs can be transmitted as an

STD, through pregnancy, or even through contaminated blood (like in a blood transfusion).

“During 2010 alone, an estimated 1.2 million adults and children died as a result of AIDS- related illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa” (Avert). This disease does not only affect the people,

but the whole of Africa: schools, work, hospitals—everyone is afflicted by AIDs in some

way or another. The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome affects the households of

infected family members in several ways. “In many cases, the presence of AIDs causes the

household to dissolve…AIDs strips families of their assets and income earners, further

impoverishing the poor” (Avert). The impact that AIDs has on the income of a family is

drastic and, as the disease mainly strikes the poorest parts of Africa, the costs of tending to or

having the illness “consumes, on average…one-third of a household’s monthly income”

(Avert). Because of this, people living in normally low-income households are forced to take

up more work, which is dangerous to their health—sleep deprivation, exhaustion, poor work

conditions and the like. Children often have to leave their schools and education in order to

care for sick family

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