Malaria: Deadly but preventable


It’s a fact that drainage systems that are habitat for mosquitoes to thrive have been attributed as one of the reasons malaria is not abating. Michael Adroit explores various causes of malaria among adults and children, symptoms and prevention.

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that is endemic in many regions of the world. It is a very common and rampant infection which kills a large number of people every year in Nigeria and globally, most especially children. According to UNICEF reports, ninety-one countries currently experience ongoing malaria transmission. Among all communicable diseases, malaria is the third largest killer of children between the ages of one month and five years, following pneumonia and diarrhoea.

Malaria is an infection common basically in local areas due to dirty environment.

In an interview, Dr Favour Odutu Adodo said: “Pregnancy test, malaria test and typhoid test are the tests people run a lot. There are different types of malaria parasites but one of them is most common in Africa and in Nigeria and that is Plasmodium falciparum. Malaria is being prevented by the use of insecticides or mosquito nets. Mosquito bites are the cause of malaria infection. A number of 15-30 people get diagnosed of malaria monthly here at my lab.”

Dr Owoeye Johnson of Detoy Health Care Centre, Isheri-Oshun, said, “Malaria is the commonest, popular and prevalent disease not just in Nigeria, but in Africa and this malaria parasite is caused by female anopheles mosquitoes. The major cause of this rampant infection is poor drainage systems and that is why malaria is very common in Lagos State.”

He further stated that “the way to prevent malaria infections is to get rid of mosquitoes around you by sanitising your environment, having proper refuse disposal because when the environment is clean, there will be no place for these mosquitoes to breathe. Another is sleeping under insecticide treated nets. A mosquito net can last for four years. Ensure you have good personal hygiene – eating a balanced diet, so as to keep your immune system strong to fight the infection.”

Malaria is deadly to babies because they have weak immune system, that could be defenceless to the illness. “The prevention of malaria for babies are sleeping under the insecticide treated nets, exclusive breastfeeding for six months because breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients a baby needs to survive, even if the baby has malaria, it would not be intense,” he advised

There are also certain symptoms of malaria because a parent has to pinpoint signs that could tell his or her child has malaria ailment because babies are unable to speak. “The symptoms of malaria on a baby are jaundice (yellowish of the eyes), loss of appetite, runny nose, and body pains. The best way to diagnose malaria is microscopic test where the blood of the patient will be placed beneath a microscope and the parasite is seen,” he added

Sleeping under an insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) is the most common and most effective way to prevent malaria infection. Using mosquito repellent creams is also useful. There are also home remedies that are effective to cure malaria- ginger, lime juice, orange juice. Preventing malaria is a big step to healthy living.


Source :