This year’s theme for world malaria day is “Zero Malaria – Draw the Line Against Malaria”.
World Malaria Day is an internationally recognized day on the 25th of April each year, highlighting the global efforts to control malaria and celebrate the gains made.
Malaria is typically found in tropical and subtropical climates where the parasites can live. It exists in more than 100 countries worldwide, and some 900,000 people die from the disease each year.
Malaria is a disease caused by the plasmodium parasite. Four kinds of malaria parasites can infect humans: Plasmodium vivax, P. ovale, P. malaria, and P. falciparum. P. falciparum causes a more severe form of the disease.
Once the parasites are inside the body, they travel to the liver, where they mature. After several days, the mature parasites enter the bloodstream and begin to infect the red blood cells. Within 48 to 72 hours, the parasites inside the red blood cells multiply, causing the infected cells to burst open.
The parasites continue to infect red blood cells, resulting in symptoms that occur in cycles that last two to three days at a time.
Some of the common symptoms of malaria include:
- Shaking chills that can range from moderate to severe
- High fever
- Profuse sweating
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle pain
Treatment for the disease is typically provided in a hospital. Medications are prescribed based on the type of parasite.
In some instances, the medication prescribed may not clear the infection because of parasite resistance to drugs. If this occurs, one may need to use more than one medication or change medications altogether to treat your condition.
Tips to Prevent Malaria
There’s no vaccine available to prevent malaria. Talk to your doctor if you’re travelling to an area where malaria is common or if you live in such an area. You may be prescribed medications to prevent the disease.
These medications are the same as those used to treat the disease and should be taken before, during, and after your trip.
Talk to your doctor about long-term prevention if you live in an area where malaria is common. Sleeping under a mosquito net may help prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito. Covering your skin or using bug sprays containing DEET may also help prevent infection.
Remember, do not self medicate. If you notice any symptoms, go to the hospital to get your self tested and treated. Zero malaria starts with you and me.
How do you prevent yourself from Malaria? I’ll like to hear from you and don’t forget to pass the information along to others.