Impact of Malaria on Chronic Diseases

Abubakari A, Dabuo B, Akantibila M, Oladipo OS, Osei EA and Odoi RNY

Published on: 2023-12-28


Malaria, an infection caused by various Plasmodium strains, has implications for various health conditions, including chronic diseases. This review explores the impact of malaria on some selected chronic diseases. Malaria and kidney diseases often intersect, as research suggests a link between infection and the development of kidney complications. Additionally, in regions where both malaria and diabetes are prevalent, the coexistence of these conditions leads to higher rates of illness and death. The relationship between malaria and cancer is complex; while some studies suggest that certain immune responses triggered by malaria might offer protection against cancer, others indicate an increased risk of cancer development in areas with high transmission rates. Sickle cell disease is prevalent in regions affected by malaria; individuals with the sickle cell carrier have some protection against malaria and face increased vulnerability if they are homozygous for this trait. Evidence from studies also shows the relationship between cardiovascular diseases and malaria. Lastly, HIV and malaria commonly occur together in overlapping areas, which presents challenges for managing both diseases. Malaria can worsen the immunosuppression associated with HIV, leading to higher rates of illness and mortality. Hence, it is vital to grasp the interplay between malaria and these health conditions to develop healthcare strategies. The fact that malaria coexists with diseases such as diabetes, cancer, sickle cell disease, cardiovascular disease, and HIV emphasizes the importance of integrated approaches to healthcare. This involves combining malaria control measures with management and prevention strategies for these conditions.