Malaria is preventable and curable. But a child dies from malaria in Africa every minute. Knowing how to prevent the spread of malaria, and what to do if your child develops the symptoms, can save your child’s life.
WHO IS AT RISK?
The highest rates of infection and death occur in Sub-Saharan African countries and in the islands off the west and east coasts. Young children, pregnant women and people with HIV are most at risk. Pregnant women who catch malaria give birth early. Their babies are more likely to die before they are three months old.
Symptoms usually develop 7-18 days after being bitten. The initial symptoms are like flu:
? Chills (feeling cold and shivering)
? Being sick/vomiting
? Muscle pains
? Sore throat
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE IT?
As soon you think you have malaria it is important to seek medical attention. Without treatment in the next 24 hours, dangerous symptoms like breathing problems can develop and cause death. People who are most at risk such as children and pregnant women are treated in hospital.
HOW IS MALARIA SPREAD?
Malaria is spread through mosquito bites. The mosquitos bite between dusk and dawn. The mosquitoes lay their eggs in fresh water. This can be small regions such as in puddles or hoof prints where rain water collects.
HOW DO I PROTECT MYSELF?
? Using insecticide-treated mosquito nets (called ITNs). These should completely cover your bed to stop you being bitten at night.
? Having screens against your windows
? Using sprays to kill mosquitos in your living and sleeping areas
? In many countries, there are local projects (called IRS or AIRS) that can spray your house and walls with strong insecticides to kill any mosquitos. This protects your house for longer.
? In some countries, pregnant women are offered anti-malaria drugs when they attend pregnancy clinics to prevent them getting malaria.
? A vaccine against malaria will be available in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi from 2018.
If you suspect you or a loved one has malaria, seek medical attention immediately! Noticing you have it quickly and getting treatment reduces the chances of fatal consequences.