Q: Dr I am 7.6 months pregnant but at 6 months I had malaria. After getting treatment just last week they found, I have little blood in my body and lost weight from 72kg to 64kg. But I had been given ‘blood building’ syrup which I am currently taking. Now Doc I want your advice…what can I do to gain weight and gain blood as you know I am approaching my last month.
A: Hello dear. Sorry to hear about your bouts of malaria. Did you receive any malaria preventive drug since your pregnancy? Usually, Fansidar is used. Fansidar is a specific brand of the drug Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP). It is used for the prevention of malaria in pregnancy. Its use for this is referred to as Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Malaria in pregnancy (IPTp-SP).
In the first trimester, it is not recommended for use but from the second trimester, it is considered the appropriate and indeed is recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) for administration to pregnant women. The assumed rule before was for pregnant women to receive 2 doses of this drug (full dose of 3 tablets) but WHO has since clarified that the appropriate regimen is for women to receive the full dose of Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine from week 13 of pregnancy. She should get a full dose at every antenatal visit provided the last dose was taken at least one month before. There is evidence that women who received 3 or more doses of IPTp had children with higher average birth weights than those who got 2 doses.
I’m glad you are okay now. As regards, building up your blood, your doctor will ensure that the Folic Acid dose you’re getting in your prenatal drugs is not more than 0.4mg. Doses of Folic Acid higher than or equal to 5mg affects the efficacy of the anti-malarial, SP. So, be sure to check with your doctor before you start buying other non-prescribed prenatal vitamins.
Other nutrition tips that will be useful for you include:
• Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods from different food groups.
• Be sure to include a lot of high fibre foods like vegetables, whole grain cereals etc to deal with the constipation associated with pregnancy.
• Ensure you take your antenatal medications (prenatal vitamins) in addition to eating well.
• Be sure to also take foods rich in iron eg and foods rich in folic acid eg green leafy veggies and beans. Folate prevents deformities of the spine.
• Drink at least 4 servings of milk, other dairy products or calcium rich foods. If you don’t eat enough, your baby will start drawing on your own stock from your bones. So, drink up your milk!
I’m sure you know about insecticide –treated nets…and probably still don’t use them because of the heat😀 Well, if you have nets on your windows too and have a good fan (praying that you’ve got electricity to power it), it is not really so bad. Some people react to the chemicals in the insecticide and so for these ones you may want to air the net outside for a couple of days before you start use. To encourage your children to use them, you could work it into the décor of the room and make them look like nice, funky four poster beds!
Be sure to fumigate your house to rid them of mosquitoes and other creepy crawlies. Ensure the vendor tells you what chemicals will be used, how long you need to be away and whether it’s compatible with artwork etc. Cover up foodstuff and take off beddings etc. and then do a major clean up afterwards.
Did you know that the buckets of water used to store water in areas where pipe-borne water is not constant, can be a huge source of mosquitoes? Have you observed them rising from these buckets of water when you approach in the evening? If you have to store water, get covers for them and ensure they are closed all the time.
Did you know that if your bathroom drain is blocked, apart from the fact that it’s unhygienic, the water there also acts as a comfortable home for mosquitoes? So, ensure that your drains are free-flowing with no stagnant water. Keeping it smelling nice and fresh is also a good touch ;D
Did you know that your flower pots with lots of water also serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes? The water used on the flowers should be completely absorbed by the soil with none left on top. Watch out for lazy helps who want to do a month’s watering in a day😀
Did you know that the unwashed drains and gutters outside, bushy lawns, potholes and broken concrete slabs serve as lovely homes for mosquitoes? Be sure to clean up your environment often.
Have a good night, y’all 😀