Malaria is a critical disease, which may be fatal. It is common in some tropical and subtropical countries. From a global point of view, malaria constitutes a serious health problem, with an estimation of 200 million new cases every year. It is imperative that you take precautionary measures to avoid your risk of infection especially when you travel to those prone areas. When travelling to a country that is prone to malaria, you should always see a doctor or a nurse. They will offer you with up to date information about the best medication for every country. Below are 5 effective ways to avoid malaria in Africa
1. Be Aware Of The Risk
The risk of mosquito bite varies from one country to the other, and the nature of the trip. For instance, back-packing or visiting rural areas usually hold more risk than staying in urban hotels during your visit. Moreover, in some areas, the risk differs between seasons. Malaria is more common during the wet, or rainy season than in dry seasons. The major kind of parasite, the level of medication resistance also varies in various countries. Even though the risk varies when you take a trip to all malaria-prone countries it would be wise to take serious precautions to avoid malaria.
2. Avoid Bites From Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes that transmit malaria normally bite during twilight, and at night, therefore, you should take active precaution and protective measures during this time. You should make use of an effective insect repellant on your exposed skin and clothing as well. Diethyltoluamide can be sprayed on your clothes since it is a secure and the most effective insect repellent. It has the capability to last up to three hours for 20%, six hours for 30%, and 12 hours for 50% of the repellent. After 50% concentration, there is no more increase in duration of the protection. In cases where both Diethyltoluamide and sunscreen are required, Diethyltoluamide should be used after the sunscreen has been applied. Diethyltoluamide can be used on kids and children who are two months and above. Additionally, pregnant mothers can use Diethyltoluamide in a concentration of up to 50%. It is also safe and secure to be used by breastfeeding mothers.
Make sure you sleep in a room that is well ventilated as it reduces the vulnerability of mosquito bites since the room temperature is minimised. All entry points such as doors, windows including other possible entry routes to the sleeping room should be screened with fine netted mesh. You should spray the room with an insecticide before the day ends, to kill any mosquitoes that may have made their way during the day. If you are in a place where electricity is available, you can use the electrically heated tool to vaporise a tablet containing the pyrethroid at night. Burning of mosquito coil is not an effective preventive method.
3. Do Mosquito Repellents Work?
Mosquito repellant cream contains DEET and is a suitable and most effective method of bite prevention therapy. It is safe to use for both children, adult and pregnant women, as it has been in use for the last 50 years. When applied to exposed skin, it offers a lasting and effective mode of repelling mosquitoes.
4. Insecticide Treated Mosquito Nets
When sleeping in an un-screened room or even outdoors, ensure you have an insecticide-treated mosquito net spread well around your bed. This extensively reduces the risks of mosquito bites. Ensure the net has small meshes with no holes and tucked under the bottom sheet. During the day, you should roll it, so that mosquitoes, as well as other insects, will not find their way inside the net. When travelling, take your own net, as you cannot be guaranteed of finding a treated net at your destination.
5. Preventive Medicines
Taking preventive medicines is a noble idea if you are visiting an area where malaria is prevalent. The issue can be selecting the most effective anti-malaria for the country you are intending to visit. You also need to consider your individual circumstances. The most appropriate medicine will depend on the country of destination and your health conditions. You should inquire advice for every new trip. Do not presume that the last medication you used during your last trip will be the right one for the next trip, despite being in the same country. There is a constant change in the pattern of resistance to some medicines by the parasites. Doctors, nurses as well as pharmacists, are regularly updated on the best medication for each country.