Today is World Malaria Day and the theme for today’s celebration is ‘End Malaria For Good’.
We all have a role to play in ending his disease for good.
I have had people ask me things like’ you mean that person died from ‘ordinary’ malaria?!’
I know nothing ordinary about malaria…not the symptoms (fever with rigours, general body aches and weakness, sour taste in the mouth, vomiting etc) and certainly not the complications (kidney shut down, cerebral malaria which can lead to permanent brain damage, anaemia etc). All of it is extraordinary, if you ask me. Perhaps, what we have made ordinary is how we view it…with very jaded eyes like it’s a part of our everyday life.
Now, anyone who argues with whether malaria is a clear and present endemic danger in these climes is wasting time. Malaria is endemic in this environment…we know it, we believe it, we live with it! Having said that, because it is a well-documented disease, it should be limited in how much damage it can do to us!
So what can we do to curb the menace of malaria?
First the battle starts from the environment. Those anopheles mosquitoes need a place to lay eggs so they can muster the right army to wreak havoc. So deprive them of a breeding camp. Who would know the conditions necessary for a terrorist camp to be set up and make their homes or environment, the right one for that? Nobody…in their right minds at least 😀
If you have to go out in the evenings, depending on whether you will be out in mosquito infested areas, wear protective clothing that cover arms and legs, preferably in light colours. Mosquitoes love dark colours and the dark….no wonder their deeds are evil :D. Insect repellent creams used on exposed areas are also not a bad idea.
Beyond the preventive measures, if one does get malaria, please be sure to get it treated effectively. Go to the hospital; trust me, ‘Dr’ Emeka over at the chemist shop (not pharmacy) may be very free with his medical advice, but he has absolutely no medical knowledge! He’s a trader who delved into the drug trade and became known as a doctor to boot! You can’t give what you don’t have. And so when one asks him to ‘mix’ some drugs, one runs the risk of becoming a statistic!
When the anti-malaria drugs are prescribed, please take them in the exact dosage and for the exact duration they were meant for. Finish the dose; don’t stop because you feel well. Not taking them appropriately leads to the emergence of resistant strains of the parasite, such that with time, the drugs we have now may not be able to deal with the malaria scourge. Remember what happened with chloroquine? (Not that we miss it much…the itches?!!! And then the scratching?!!! Ohhh! The scratching…… (Feel me?)
If you do not live in Nigeria or any other malaria-endemic area, please be sure to start on malaria prophylaxis before making the trip. For some, the drug is started 1 or 2 days before the trip to an endemic area, taken every day during the trip and then continued for about 7 days after return. Please speak with your doctor about the best drug for you.
Last week, I answered a question on malaria and gave some tips on prevention. If you missed it, get the tips here:
Have a good night, y’all 😀