Malaria is a common health problem in endemic tropical countries. It is an infection of the blood by malarial parasite (Plasmodium) resulting from mosquito bite and characterized by chills and high fever. The female mosquito (also known as Anopheles mosquito) sucks up the malaria parasites in the blood of an infected person and injects them to next person it bites.
The unborn child in the womb can get malaria from an infected mother through placenta which is the tube linking the mother’s blood with that of the unborn baby in the womb. Malaria can also be transmitted following blood transfusion from a donor with malaria. We would highlight the symptoms and the home treatment for malaria.
SYMPTOMS OF MALARIA
- High fever and occasional chills.
- Headache and generalized body pains and weakness.
- Lack of appetite, nausea and sometimes vomiting.
HOME TREATMENT FOR MALARIA
- Keep the patient warm during attack of chills.
- Take cold bath or use cold sponge to control high fever.
- Take plenty of water, juices or other fluids. Take an antimalarial medicine in recommended dosage.
- Take Paracetamol or an Aspirin in the recommended dosage.
- Take multivitamin tablets or syrup.
WHEN TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL
- Children suspected of having malaria are better treated in the hospital or health centres.
- If the fever re-occurs after treatment with chloroquine.
- If the high fever is accompanied by fits or convulsions and vomiting followed by loss of consciousness especially in children.
HOW TO AVOID MALARIA
- Treat malaria attacks quickly to avoid transmission to others. During attack, do all possible to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes as to prevent transmission of the disease to others.
- Pregnant women, sicklers and very sick people should take medicines for preventing malaria regularly.
- Kill adult mosquitoes by the use of insecticides.
- Kill larval (young) mosquitoes by draining or oiling ponds or other standing waters-mosquitoes breed in such places.
Avoid mosquito bites by covering doors, windows and bed with mosquito nets. Mosquito repellant creams may also be useful especially when going out in the night.