Daily Health Tips: Are These Malaria Or Pregnancy Symptoms?

Q: Please I have a personal question. I am an expectant mother, in my first trimester. I often have fever, loss of appetite, nausea, feel like vomiting whether I eat or not (I have actually vomited sometimes), cough and weakness mostly. Please, what malaria drug can I take that will not be harmful to the baby? Or do you think otherwise because this is really disturbing me. Thank you as I wait for your reply.

A: Honestly, you just sound completely and totally pregnant! 😀

Pregnancy is a very interesting condition, I can tell you…being a veteran with 3 beautiful children to show for it 😀 And so, you may very well feel you have malaria when the only issue you’re dealing with is the new life growing in you! I felt like that for a long while before I discovered I was pregnant 😀 You can read my post ‘Baby in the tummy…it’s all up to mummy, is it/!’ for more on that gist and other symptoms of pregnancy (normal and abnormal). The link is provided below.


Back to our main gist, pregnancy can affect different women differently. For some women, they hardly feel a thing and others spend the whole nine months (…and then some :D) in bed.  And so, before we start thinking of anti-malarials, please confirm that you do have malaria! It may well be the symptoms of your pregnancy.

Generally, the symptoms of pregnancy include:

Breast tenderness
Discharge: A thin milky discharge is normal during pregnancy
Heart burn and Constipation
Frequency of urination
Food cravings and aversions
Morning sickness/nausea

So, my advice is to see your doctor to confirm what is wrong with you…if anything at all, beyond pregnancy. If you don’t have malaria, great. If you live in a malaria endemic area like Nigeria, your doctor will ensure that you get your Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT) courses for malaria (sulphadoxine-pyrimethmine) during your pregnancy.

If you do have malaria, quinine and Artemisinin Combined Therapies (ACTs) are generally considered safe. But, don’t be quick to go take any of them without prescription. Remember that every drug is a potential toxin and your doctor is really in the best place to weigh potential risks of taking any drug against the potential benefits. To put this in perspective, a recent study appears to now suggest that acetaminophen (the main ingredient in paracetamol) may lead to Attention Deficit Disorder in children! And yet, we refer to it as ‘ordinary’ paracetamol. There is nothing ordinary about any drug, my friends 😀

So, have a great evening and keep working at being healthy 😀

Here’s to a healthier you!

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3 Responses to Daily Health Tips: Are These Malaria Or Pregnancy Symptoms?

  1. Eating a series of smaller meals can help your stomach during pregnancy. Keeping your stomach full of something in it will help keep those upset stomach issues. Try to keep everything you eat light and fresh. Fresh vegetables and fruits, vegetables and lean meats do wonders.

    Dr. Maureen Muoneke MD


  2. Lizzy says:

    Good morning doctor ketch. Pls I don’t understand if I have malaria or am pregnant . I do have signs like tireness. Eye been full and dizzy. Urinate often . Body pains. All these happens during evening period. And I just got married and was disvirgined by my husband few ways back.so I wonder if few days pregnancy has signs affect already.


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