What Is Malaria?: Malaria Parasite & Human
What Is Malaria: Malaria is responsible for not less than 300,000 estimated death in children and 4,000 maternal death annually in Nigeria alone even higher than HIV/aids. No wonder most people want to know the most relevant fact about malaria in Nigeria.
It is evident that almost all Nigerians suffer from malarial every year. According to the statistics from National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), 29% of the global burden on malaria occur in Nigeria with highest number of cases.
What is Malaria?
Malaria is a life threatening mosquito borne infection usually found in human and some animals. It is one of the leading cause of death in Nigeria, though it can be prevented and treated but most patient seriously affected in developing countries like Nigeria are from rural area and lack proper diagnosis and treatment.
Prevalence Of Malaria Parasite In Nigeria
It is a known fact about malaria that it indeed kills more than aids in Nigeria and it is widespread all across the federation. Globally, about 3.4 billion are at risk with Nigeria suffering the greatest burden of approximately 51 million cases and 300,000 deaths annually especially in children. According to 2016 World Malaria Day lecture, Malaria prevalence in North West of Nigeria is 37%, North East 26%, North Central 32%, South West 17%, South South 19% and South East 14%.
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What Is Malaria Causes?
Unlike the popular myth that excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause malaria, the leading known cause of malaria is a protozoan parasite otherwise known as plasmodium parasite or simply put malaria parasite. When this malaria parasite gets into the body, its start infecting the red blood cell. The major carrier of the parasite is the female anopheline mosquito; whenever it feeds on you, it passes on the parasite.
What Is Malaria Symptoms?
Once beaten by an anopheline mosquito, the parasite starts infecting the red blood cell and some are reserved in the liver. Symptoms might take few days to weeks before it starts showing. However, common malaria symptoms include fever, chills, weariness, dry cough, muscular pain, low appetite, nausea and vomiting.
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Malaria Diagnosis Methods
A laboratory test is the most effective way of detecting whether you have malaria or not. The test will also enable you to the type and extent of infection. Physical examination can also be applicable especially if you live or travel to a malaria prone environment. It is highly recommended that before you take any medication, you should first get tested.
What Is Malaria Prevention?
If you live in a malaria prone environment or you are a traveler and you have heard about the menace of malaria in the region you are going, here are the most effective preventive measures you can adopt to reduce your chance of being infected.
- Always get your long lasting insecticide treated nets handy. Ensure you use it always whenever you sleep either indoor or outdoor.
- Ensure you spray your environment especially indoor with insecticide to get rid of mosquitoes and other dangerous insects. There are also several cheaper mosquito repellents as well.
- Clear bush close to you and get rid of stagnant water in your environment. These makes the environment less conducive for mosquito to breed and multiply rapidly.
- Whenever it seems you are infected, seek medical attention as soon as you can and avoid taking self medication. It is absolutely dangerous.
- Pregnant women are advice to take Sulphadoxine/Pyrimethamine (SP) doses when visiting for antenatal to prevent mother and child from malaria.
What Is Malaria Consequence?
Malaria has been a huge burden on Nigeria and it has led to a major financial loss to individual and government in the form of prevention and treatment cost. This happens to be another known fact about malaria in Nigeria, it is a major reason why good amount of school children are absent from school and workers absenteeism from duty.
What Is Malaria Resistance?
The purpose of taking anti-malaria medication is to eliminate the parasite from the body and get better, but in some cases the malaria parasite has also develop a kind of resistance to some anti-malaria drugs thereby rendering them ineffective. There is an established fact about malaria in Nigeria according to The Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), mosquitoes are developing resistance to the long lasting treated insecticide nets used in preventing mosquito bites due to the fact that the same insecticides used on the nets are also used for agricultural purposes.
Malaria During Pregnancy
Malaria symptoms and treatment in Nigeria especially during pregnancy requires adherence to medical advice. Malaria can lead to abortion, stillbirth, premature delivery, low birth weight and high mortality. Most pregnant women in the rural area don’t go for antenatal and if they do; it is sometimes late towards there delivery, thereby depriving themselves of preventive care and cure for malaria. Malaria is responsible for not less than 4,000 maternal deaths annually in Nigeria.
Malaria and Children
Malaria is one of the most recorded cause of death in children under the age of five. Those living in the rural area suffer the greatest burden due to lack of proper medical care and assistance. Most children die within 72hrs after symptoms appear.
What IS Malaria Best Treatment?
Upon diagnosis, anti-malaria drugs are administered by medical practitioner. It is not advisable to take drugs without guidance from a medical experts. Self medication is another killer on its own. The most common anti malaria drugs components in Nigeria include quinine, sulphadoxine/pyrimethamine, artemether/lumefantrine, artesunate/amodia and herbal remedies.
Malaria should be properly managed with appropriate diagnosis and prescription because people tend to choose self medication thinking every infection is malaria, however, the patient should first get tested and the right anti-malaria drug combination should be prescribed by experts alone before usage. There are effective herbs available in Nigeria for treating malaria.
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