HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT MALARIA PARASITE
by: Inanna Women Empowerment Foundation (IWEF) –
HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT MALARIA PARASITE…From the Inanna Mothers Handbook on “Protecting Household from Malaria Parasite”.
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2013, more than 198 million people were infected with malaria and an estimated 584,000 died as a result of it. Nearly 4 out of 5 casualties were children under five years of age. The disease presents a threat in about a hundred countries and territories throughout the world, putting some 3.2 billion people at risk.
It begins with a bite, a painless bite. The mosquito comes in the night, alights on an exposed patch of flesh, and assumes the hunched, head-lowered posture of a sprinter in the starting blocks. Then she plunges her stiletto mouth-parts into the skin.
Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by infection with Plasmodium protozoa transmitted by an infective female Anopheles mosquito. Plasmodium falciparum infection carries a poor prognosis with a high mortality if untreated, but it has an excellent prognosis if diagnosed early and treated appropriately.
HOW TO PREVENT AND TREAT MALARIA PARASITE
Signs and Symptoms of malaria:
(a) a high temperature; (b) sweats and chills; (c) headaches; (d) vomiting (e) muscle pains; (f) diarrhea; and (g) shivering
Symptoms usually appear between seven and 18 days after becoming infected. Seek medical help immediately if you develop symptoms of malaria. If there is a possibility you have malaria, a blood test will be carried out to confirm whether or not you are infected. You should receive the result of your test the same day and treatment can be started right away.
Malaria is caused by a type of parasite known as plasmodium which is mainly spread by the female Anopheles mosquito, which predominately bites at night. When an infected mosquito bites a human, it passes the parasite into the bloodstream. Many cases of malaria can be avoided. An easy way to remember is the ABCD approach to prevention:
1. Awareness of risk: find out whether you are at risk in your current environment. Avoid outdoor activities around dusk or dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
2. Bite prevention: avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering your arms and legs, and using an insecticide-treated mosquito net. Don’t wear perfumes, colognes or aftershave. Use ‘knockdown’ sprays, mosquito coils and plug-in vaporizing devices. If possible, create windows with fly screens.
3. Check whether you need to take malaria prevention drugs: if you do, make sure you take the right anti malarial tablets at the right dose, and finish the course.
4. Diagnosis: seek medical advice if you develop malaria symptoms.
Malaria is a serious illness that can get worse very quickly and it can be fatal if not treated properly. It can also cause complications including:
5. Severe anemia: where blood are unable to carry enough oxygen around the body, leading to drowsiness and weakness.
6. Cerebral malaria: in rare cases, the small blood vessels leading to the brain can become blocked, causing seizures, brain damage and coma.
The effects of malaria are usually more severe in pregnant women, babies, young children, and the elderly. Pregnant women in particular are usually advised not to travel to malaria risk areas.
We live on a malarious planet. It may not seem that way from the vantage point of a wealthy country, where malaria is sometimes thought of, if it is thought of at all, as a problem that has mostly been solved, like smallpox or polio. In truth, malaria now affects more people than ever before. It’s endemic to 106 nations, threatening half the world’s population. In recent years, the parasite has grown so entrenched and has developed resistance to so many drugs that the most potent strains can scarcely be controlled. This year malaria will strike up to a half billion people. At least a million will die, most of them under age five, the vast majority living in Africa. That’s more than twice the annual toll a generation ago.
How to Treat Malaria Parasite: Medically, it is advisable to first conduct a blood test to know and determine the level of the parasites before treatment. If you feel the symptoms listed above visit your medical doctor for examination and treatment, self medication worsen the situation and can lead to critical condition or even death.