Just last week, my technology class had to present to our peers about our chosen topic. My group mate and I choose the topic of Lassa Fever, this is a hemorrhagic fever that was discovered in Borno State, Nigeria in 1969, when two missionary nurses got the fever. This virus is caused by rodents, and eating infected rats that are not thoroughly cooked. The rats themselves get infected by the filth surrounding them and the environments that they live in. Evidently, this is an animal borne disease. I thought that this was an appropriate topic to choose and an interesting one because since we live in Senegal, we see a lot of rodents around. For the most part, this is caused by the fairly filthy “boutiques” (shacks that sell little snacks and food, as well as useful items like matches or toilet paper), these boutiques are many times located near homes and they attract the rats; which then enter multiple houses. Not all of these rodents are affected, but some are. That is another danger of the fever, one can not really tell if the rats is infected or not unless the human physically turns the rat out and there will be little grey or white spots on its stomach. Moreover, in some cultures, people eat rats and if that was an infected rat then the human would catch the disease as well.
In all, because we live in an area where this disease can easily occur, choosing this topic can easily educated people about the dangers and how we are at risk. To add on, knowing that we live in a place where some people are exposed to getting this infection, teaching my classmates about this disease can really help prevent it.
With all the research that I have accumulated for this project I learned a lot of interesting facts and even some connections to other diseases. For instance, Lassa Fever is very similar to Ebola. They are similar is such a way that they have the same symptoms, I find it quite interesting to see how the two diseases are extremely close yet pretty distinct; Both are animal borne diseases and both show the same symptoms. However, the death rates are very different and the treatment is too. Moving along, I learnt that there are not many deaths involved in the case of Lassa Fever, compared to other hemorrhagic fevers this particle sickness has a pretty low death toll. I specifically learned that there were 273 cases of the Lassa virus and it included 149 deaths in Nigeria. Looking at it like this it seems like many deaths; However, comparing these statistics to others, even the number of cases discovered are low in itself. Furthermore, knowing that there is no specific vaccine or treatment for this condition, it is still extraordinary to see that the death toll in that country is low, noting that Nigeria is the most affect country in West Africa. As I previously mentioned, I also learned about the cause and transmission of the sickness.
My learning towards this topic did not really make me grow in a drastic way. However, it helped me realize that you have to be aware of what you put in your mouth, because what you are eating can have a big impact on your life. Also, it helped me grow in such a way that now I try to be more safe and organized not only in the kitchen, but that also shifted to being organized in general. My learning did not only help me grow, be it can help the community learn about the virus. As previously stated, it can help with awareness, but also medical support and knowing what is going on.
For my next, I want to incorporated one of my passions to make an impact on our community. I believe that my passion for photography can have an impact on our community. This days many people use photography as a leisure activity, to take picture of themselves, or friends and places they visited, that is great, I for one do the same. However, we can use of skills in picture taking and putting it to even better use. For instance, taking picture of issues around are community and making a website to raise awareness. When one sees a website to raise awareness, there are always pictures that give more meaning to the issue and it motivates people even more to go change and fix that problem. If all, I want to use my photography to raise awareness about a certain issue that can be on a website or somewhere that can have an impact of people.
Link to my presentation: