Malaria is a life-threatening serious and sometimes fatal tropical disease, common in African countries and countries with warm and humid weather such as India and Bangladesh. In this part of the world, we tend to classify every ill health associated with fever ‘malaria’. It is important to know what malaria is, the causes and how best to treat it.
Malaria is a disease transmitted through the bite of an infected ANOPEHELES MOSQUITO into a person’s blood. It infects red blood cells, within 48-72 hours, the parasite multiplies in the red blood cells and the red blood cells ruptures causing fever, chills and organ damage. It takes about 10-15 days after the bite for symptoms to start showing. In Africa, malaria is the cause of most death of over 400,000, most of which are children.
Malaria can be transmitted through:
- Infected mosquito
- An organ transplant
- Use of shared needles or syringes
- From and infected pregnant mother to her baby at birth (congenital malaria).
Not all mosquitos can infected human with the disease, there are basically four kinds of malaria parasite that transmits the diseases: plasmodium vivax, p.ovale, P. malariae and P.falciparum. P.falciparum causes more severe form of the disease and higher death risk.
Some symptoms of malaria are:
- Abdominal pain
- High fever
- Chills ranging from moderate to severe
- Bloody stools
- Muscle pain
Malaria can be treated by first diagnosing it through Laboratory Test; when you feel unwell with any of the symptoms listed, visit your health professional timely. Malaria can be cured with the use of prescribed medicines ONLY. Avoid self-medication as much as you can.
Things to avoid when taking Anti-Malaria medicine.
When on malaria medications, it important to take note of some things that can alter the potency of the medicine.
- Avoid citrus fruits such as orange, Tangerine, Lime, Lemon, Grape fruit or any form of Ascorbic acid natural or artificial. Ascorbic Acid reduces the effectiveness of Antimalarial
- Avoid Moringa; Moringa contains seven times more Vitamin C than fruits in the citrus family. It should also be avoided when taking Antimalaria.
As deadly as malaria can be, it can be prevented by:
- Sleeping under insecticide treated mosquito net.
- Regular fumigation of our homes and surroundings
- Avoiding stagnant water that could bred mosquitoes in our environment.
- Cover wells and keep gutter clean and dry at all times.