Madagascar is located off the Southeast coast of Africa. The people of Madagascar have very limited resources. It’s about twice the size of Arizona with over triple the population reaching 20,042,552 (last known), making the density 33people/KM2. Right there! http://www.worldaware.org.uk/img/africa-worldaware.jpg
The average ages are dramatically lower than that of the US; overall most males live around 17.8 years old and females live to be about 18.2 years old. It has curved the average age scale dramatically; 43.5% of the Malagasy people are between 0 and 14 years of age. The infant death rate is twelve times greater than the US’s. Many infant deaths are the result of the mothers either suffering a disease while pregnant, malnutrition, or the poor sanitary conditions in which the baby is immediately exposed to.
Among children the largest predator for their lives is malaria. Malaria is caused by the insects that horde the land; it’s also the second largest cause of death among the adult population. For adults the largest is lower respiratory infections (forms of influenza, etc.).
The diseases spread like wildfire in Madagascar. http://www.msf.ie/userfiles/Image/children%20malaria.jpg http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/whc/3.1/images/gilbert_fig23b.jpg
Every day is a struggle for Malagasies; constantly trying to avoid the diseases that surround them. They risk diseases by eating/drinking, such diseases as Typhoid Fever or Hepatitis A. They could be exposed to Chikungunya or Bubonic Plague by being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Having contact with water can spread Schistosomiasis; a parasitic disease also known as Snail Fever. Completely safe food and water is rare in Madagascar. It’s a common problem for Malagasies to get diseases from food!
In order to stay healthy it is important to only consume the approved items. Drink canned or bottled drink with NO ice cubes, and steer clear from the street vendor’s food. Unfortunately most locals aren’t well off enough to have the luxury of approved foods. Many do not have a choice but to buy from vendor’s carts and get whatever water they can. Many tourists do have the luxury of approved items though, their focus leans more towards the other diseases.
Before going tourists get vaccinations for: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Rabies, along with making sure routine shots are up to date. Many visitors also take prescription antimalarial drugs to prevent contracting that also. http://archive.perfectduluthday.com/tourists.gif
Madagascar is festering with diseases that lurk around every corner, the poor conditions and contagion makes everyday life a struggle and with so many dying it is hard for them to make any progressions as a society.