Malaria and Africa
Every year, Nigeria records an estimated 100 million malaria cases and about 300,000 deaths. 97% of Nigeria population is at risk of malaria, the remaining 3% are believed to live in the malaria free highland. Malaria is therefore considered as a major public health problem in Nigeria where it accounts for more cases and deaths than any other country.
Malaria is the second leading cause of death from infectious disease in Africa after HIV/AIDS.
Best way to manage Malaria
In an endemic environment, malaria prevention is often the priority of most health providers however the place of curative treatment cannot be push aside. If malaria is diagnosed and treated promptly, a full recovery can be expected. As such, it is recommended that treatment should be started as soon as a blood test confirms malaria parasites.
Best Safe Antimalarial
Antimalarial treatment approaches over the years have migrated from monotherapy (e.g artesunate alone, amodiaquine alone etc) to combination therapy (e.g artemether+lumenfantrine, artesunate+amodiaquine etc). The combination therapy helps to increase compliance and prevent drug resistant strains of the parasites from emerging.
Each antimalarial may have specific precautions and direction of use, your doctor or pharmacist will be in a good position to guide you.
Note that not every fever is a sign of malaria, we recommend you run a malaria test to confirm if the parasites are truly in your bloodstream before treatment. Self medication, over use of the antimalarials, non-compliance to the medications can pose very dangerous risk in malaria treatment.
Also, note that the combination therapies are curative (clears malaria parasites from the bloodstream) and not preventive. Most of the antimalarial preventive therapies are single agent, and they help to reduce your risk of being infected with the malaria parasites.
Kindly consult your doctor or pharmacist about the preventive therapy available in your locality.
Most of the available antimalarial medications are designed to be used within 3days or less. Ensure to take the medications as directed to avoid treatment failure.
…to be continued