TODAY, November 6 marks the South African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Day, a day set aside to create awareness about malaria and rally the community to be part of malaria control programmes.
Malaria is a deadly disease known to be caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through infected female mosquitoes.
The disease is more prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the 2015 statistics showing that the region was home to 89% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2020, nearly half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria.
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“Some population groups are at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria and developing severe disease: infants, children under five years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/Aids, as well as people with low immunity moving to areas with intense malaria transmissions, such as migrant workers, mobile populations and travellers,” they said.
Although malaria is preventable and curable, the estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 627 000 in 2020, an increase of 69 000 deaths since the previous year.
Symptoms and Diagnosis:
Common symptoms of malaria include fever, headache and chills, which usually appear about 10-15 days after the infective mosquito bite, and may be difficult to recognise as malaria.
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Malaria diagnosis may be done through the conduction of blood tests. The tests reveal:
- The presence of the parasite in the blood, which confirms the presence of malaria;
- what type of malaria parasite is causing the symptoms;
- if the infection is caused by a parasite resistant to certain drugs;
- whether the disease is causing any serious complications.
Malaria can be treated with prescription drugs to kill the parasite. The types of drugs and the length of treatment will vary depending on what type of malaria parasite you have, the severity of your symptoms, your age and whether you are pregnant.
Common prophylactic / malaria-prevention and treatment drugs include:
- Atovaquone/Proguanil (Malarone) – prophylactic and treatment
- Quinine sulfate (Qualaquin) – treatment
- Doxycycline (also called Oracea, Vibramycin and other names) – prophylactic
- Primaquine phosphate – prophylactic and treatment.
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Publish date : 2022-11-06 07:00:33