Update: 2018-02-03 09:07 PM -0500


Malaria and other diseases as sentinels of Myanmar borders


A collection by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Thuzar Myint and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR 
 - http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com
This page is a tribute to my father U Tun Pe, a worker in the field of malaria prevention from whom the son first learned about the tertian malaria the most virulent kind prevalent in the high mountains of Myanmar borders preventing foreign-armies crossing into Myanmarpré.

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Malignant Tertian Malaria


UKT notes
I have time only for the first collection. I still have to get others from Bur-Myanmar sources. In the meantime please look into my work on Myanmar Medicinal Plants (MMPD) -- MMPD-indx.htm 130103

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Malignant Tertian Malaria

- UKT 100727

My father, U Tun Pe, as the officer in charge of Epidemic Mobile Team - formed under the British Fourteenth Army of WWII - had worked in the Naga Hill area on the border between Burma and India. He described to me the dangers of Malaria and Hill diarrhea.

"... DDT [was first added to U.S. Army supply lists in May 1943. Gahan and colleagues, in August 1943, made the first practical tests of DDT as a residual insecticide against adult vector mosquitoes. ..."
http://www.malariasite.com/category/history/ 151003

From: http://www.ayurvedic-medicines.org/diseases/malignant-tertian-malaria.htm 100727

Malignant Tertian is a very severe type of malarial fever {nghak-hpya:}. This fever mainly appears in the autumn season and may last up to a period of one day or more and the subsequent attack may follow after the first attack has subsided. This state of fever is known as subtertian fever. If the infection is severe, malarial fever may occur everyday. Fall in pyrexial fever does not mean complete relieve forever, rather it is known as low severity fever.

As a rule, after passing through an malarial fever, patients feel completely recovered till the next attack is due, but the fever may not subside. For example, hyperpyrexia (very high fever) may develop and the temperature of the body may keep on increasing and the person may die. The second stage - the hot stage, may continue, without giving way to the third stage (sweating stage), when the patient normally loses its consciousness.

If the one more very serious stage occurs i.e. cerebral malaria, then the person is almost sure to die. In this stage the malarial parasites block the small blood vessels of the brain, and the person may die.


UKT: Prevention of malaria is as important as the curing. Think of the potential victim - a resident of the area or an enemy soldier crossing into Myanmar. There are aryrvedic (mostly herbal) methods. Do these work? The fact that very few people living in those mountain regions show that they may not work for the visitors from the plains (enemy soldiers - not the resident-fighters defending their homeland). The following are the tips given by Ayurvedic-Medicines.org .

• Keeping yourself covered with mosquito nets at all hours of the day or night or using mosquito repellents , so as to prevent yourself from mosquito bites is very important aspect of preventing malaria.

• Accumulation of water in ponds, stagnant water pools and places where excreta is ejected, should be sprayed over with anti malarial chemical substances so as to abandon the opportunity for the malarial parasites to multiply.

• You should strictly avoid taking exposed, stale, dirty or unhygienic foods as they may contain parasites.

UKT: My father would have laughed off the prevention of avoiding "exposed, stale, dirty or unhygienic food" or water, because the malarial parasite could not multiply and would die in the human stomach. Burmese from the low lands are sold on this method. They even have a word describing a fruit which they think could pass on the disease: {nghak-pyau:thi:} - the banana.
   Of course, abstaining drinking and eating  "exposed, stale, dirty or unhygienic food or water" would prevent another disease - the mountain diarrhea !

• Boil drinking water, disinfect entire house, clean the coolers every two or three weeks or spray kerosene oil on cooler water.

• Vaccines against P. vivax are being developed and include a number of blood-stage candidates, a transmission-blocking candidate and a liver-stage candidate - which could reach clinical trial in 3 to 5 years. A number of vaccine candidates have also been identified for P. falciparum. Unfortunately, no malaria vaccine is currently available for widespread use.

Causes of Malignant Tertian

The main cause of malaria if generally a tiny parasite called Plasmodium. The parasite grows in the liver of a person for a few days and then enters the bloodstream where it invades the red blood cells. The disease is spread by an female anopheles mosquito - she first bites a sick person and ingests a small quantity of blood containing parasites from his body. This parasites then passes through several stages of development within the mosquito's body, and then finally find their way to mosquito's salivary glands. After that the parasites are finally transmitted to a healthy person by a mosquito bite. The malaria-carrying mosquito breeds in stagnant water.

According to naturopathy [Ayurveda], however, the real causes of malaria are the wrong feeding habits of human beings and their faulty style of living - all this results in accumulating systemic refuse and morbid matter. It is on this waste matter that the "malaria germ" breeds. The liberal intake of fresh [unboiled and uncooked] foods, tinned and other denatured foods [which have lost their natural defensive chemical components], and alcoholic beverages [in large amounts] lowers the vitality of the system [the human body is supposed to be in balance of the four "elements"] and paves the way for the development of malaria.

Types of malaria

There are three main types of malaria, classified according to the parasite which causes it. They are tertian fever, quartan fever and malignant tertian malaria. The most common symptom of all types of malaria is high fever, which may occur every day, on alternate days, or every fourth day. The fever is accompanied by chills, headache, shivering, and pain in the limbs. The temperature comes down after some time with profuse sweating.

Fever occurs about every 48 hours but this periodicity is often masked because the stages are not always synchronous. This periodicity is termed tertian because of fever on the first day, no fever on the second and then a return of fever on the third day. Plasmodium falciparum lives in a temperature of at least 20ºC so is found mainly in warmer parts of the world.

UKT: The inhabitants of the mountains live at high elevations and avoid the valleys even though water may be plentiful because the valleys are warmer - the breeding ground of mosquitoes. The women-folk would carry water, for drinking and cooking, from the valley back to their homes on the hill-tops. Most of the inhabitants do not take daily baths which they could do only in the streams in the valley. That means they would not be exposed to mosquito bites!

In the valleys, wild bananas (with plentiful large seeds and little flesh) grow abundantly. A traveller in these jungles can quench his thirst by cutting off the stem of the whole plant and eat the succulent pith inside. The core cut into "rings" are an ingredient of Bur-Myan {moan.hing:hka.}. The "rings" are not perfect and always break up into semi-circles which look like the horns of the water-buffalo, and I as a young child referred to them as "buffalo-horns".

Herbal treatment for Malignant tertian

UKT: I still have to look into the "Hindi ayurvedic" terms given below. -- UKT100727

1. 250 mg of Sheetmani Rasa can be taken thrice daily with honey.

2. Mixture of 125 mg of Mahajwara ankush Rasa and 240 mg of Shuddha Sphatika can be taken with juice of tulsi leaves thrice daily.

The above medicines are for the initial attacks of malaria; when the attacks are intermittent, the following medicines would he more useful:

I. 60 mg of Tuvrimallayogia to be administered two times daily - the first dose should be given one hour before the attack and another one hour after.

2. Mix 125 mg each of Godanti Bhasma, Shuddha Sphatika, and Flesh of Karanja. Now prepare six pills out of the above mixture and two pills to be taken at an interval of 2 hours before expected attack.

Home remedies

You can take a mixture of 10-15 ml juice of Tulsi (holy basil) and 2-3 gm powder of black pepper during the cold stage of the fever so as to bring down the intensity of fever. Holy basil has proved to be protective, curative and preventive for malarial fever many a times. To ward off the danger of malarial fever, even tea can be prepared and served to the patient by mixing and boiling above mentioned ingredients - it will reduce severity of malaria.


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UKT notes


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End of TIL file