Growing towards a Malaria Free Nation
Day or night, at home or at the park, mosquitoes come uninvited at all times to literally suck our blood! They are not just annoying, but also quite deadly and are responsible for many diseases like dengue and malaria. According to a Commission report of September 2019, India ranks no. 4 in terms of malarial deaths. Last year, there were 5.1 million cases of Malaria in India, where over 10,000 people lost their lives. Let’s raise some awareness on its prevention, how we can acknowledge the symptoms, and receive proper treatment.
Only female mosquitoes called Anopheles transmit plasmodium, the malaria parasite. Mostly affecting young children, infants and pregnant women, the malaria parasite usually takes 10 days to show up. Look out for:
- High fever
- Muscle Pain
Apart from these, in some cases, if the parasite is acting up rapidly, there can be other severe symptoms like
- Breathing issues
- Low BP
- Organ failure
Causes & Diagnosis
is the parasite responsible for causing malaria. Climatic conditions like high humidity and air temperature are the most favourable seasons (May-October) to get infected. The parasite first infects the liver, and then gradually shifts in the bloodstream.
Only after shifting to the blood vessels, the symptoms start showing up.
Apart from direct contact, Malaria can be caused by contaminated vaccines or pregnant moms to the unborn children.
There are no commercially available vaccines against malaria. WHO encourages Artemisinin drug-based combination therapy (ACT) to treat uncomplicated Malaria. But as there are many types of Malaria, it is best to avail medicines from your doctor only. Some kinds of Malaria are fatal and extremely deadly in nature.
Certain kinds of malaria can remain in our body, develop immunity and act up after some time as well. Stay aware of the symptoms and do not take it casually.
So stay alert and try the following tips for prevention:
- Keep your body covered and wear full clothes. Mosquitoes are most active during early morning or late evening. Take a bath and change your clothes every day.
- Apply mosquito repellents all over, esp. hands and feet.
- Home remedies like burning dried bay leaves in the house or keeping lemongrass also helps keep mosquitoes away.
- If you have young infants, use mosquito nets
- Ensure that you don’t store any open water near your areas, as mosquitoes can breed in them
- Use preventive medicines prior to travelling to a malaria prone region.
90% of malaria deaths have been recorded from rural parts of India. The poor condition of government hospitals and expensive private hospitals leave economically weaker people with no option. We should take more initiatives to keep our surroundings clean and urge people to do the same. It is high time, that as citizens we must not consider this somebody else’s job, and focus on what part we can play, to eradicate diseases from our country.