World Malaria Day

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World Malaria Day

Malaria is a preventable and treatable infectious disease transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes that have been infected by a parasite; Plasmodium vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae or P. falciparum. Malaria occurs when there is a bite from the female Anopheles mosquito on humans, thereby transmitting the Plasmodium. The parasite enters the bloodstream and stays dormant within the liver. In about 5-11 days, the malaria parasite begins to multiply. Infected people may start experiencing symptoms from a week to a month after being bitten. In some rare cases, the parasite may be dormant for up to 4 years. Common symptoms of malaria are fever, chills, headache and other flu symptoms. Without access to proper treatment, it may result in brain damage, loss of muscle function, coma and even death. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria prevents death and contributes to reduction in malaria transmission.

Malaria infection is responsible for death of millions of people across the world, particularly children and pregnant women. Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of malaria. Malaria kills an estimated population of 584,000 people each year with vast majority being children. In some parts of Africa, a child can be infected up to six times a year. In 2015, about 212 million malaria cases and 429,000 malaria deaths were recorded. A 29% reduction in less than 5 years has been observed due to increased prevention and control measures such as use of insecticides, insecticide treated nets, prophylactic antimalarial drugs (for travelers or sickle cell victims). Malaria causes significant economic losses in high burden countries.

World Malaria Day Commemoration provides opportunities for Government, Corporations, LGAs, Multinationals, Development Partners (Global Funds) to work together and draw attention to the dangers Malaria portends to the Nation. April 25 every year is therefore very significant especially to us in Nigeria and other malaria endemic countries in Africa.

World Health Organization (WHO) advises to test for Malaria, when one experiences the signs of Malaria. There are rapid diagnostic tests readily available.

Malaria risk factors include:

  1. Poor environmental sanitation
  2. Poverty and geography
  3. Low compliance rate

Various control measures include:

  1. Non-drug intervention
  2. Keeping the environment clean by clearing drainages, cutting grasses, clearing ones environment, regular washing of hands,
  3. Use of long lasting insecticide treated nets,
  4. Use of insecticides to spray homes and rooms,
  5. Prevention of stagnant waters that aid the breeding of mosquito larvae
  6. Fumigation of the environment
  7. Drug Therapy
  • Prophylaxis – IPT in Pregnant women: All pregnant women are expected to receive 3 doses of sulphadoxine / Pyrimethamine medication during pregnancy, to reduce the risk and complications of malaria.
  • For pregnant women, particularly first timers, they are at risk of experiencing complications of malaria and this may lead to negative effects on the baby and ultimately, even death.
  • Treatment of Malaria infection
  • ACTs are now the drug of choice

World Health Organization has recommended Artemisinin combination therapy (ACT) as the first -line treatment for uncomplicated malaria.

NEIMETH INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICAL PLC is malaria aware. Neimeth is ready to end malaria with NimARTEM.

NimARTEM is an antimalarial drug containing Artemether and Lumefantrine as its actives. NimARTEM comes in two forms: NimARTEM 20mg/120mg and NimARTEM QS 80mg/480mg (Artemether: Lumefantrine). Proper treatment of the infectious disease will help prevent further complications and reduce transmission to another person.

 

MALARIA DAY IS THEREFORE VERY IMPORTANT TO SEEK FOR ADVOCACY TO CONTINUE TO SEEK FOR WAYS TO REDUCE COMPLICATIONS AND DEATHS ASSOCIATED WITH MALARIA.

 

NEIMETH IS READY TO BEAT MALARIA. ARE YOU?

 

By Saheedat Olatinwo

Pharmacist Intern

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