More than 600 000 malaria deaths occur in Africa annually with majority being children under 5 years of age. The good news is that malaria is preventable and curable. With World Malaria Day approaching, Kiaat Private Hospital joins the global community in committing to prevent and control malaria.
World Malaria Day 2023
Kiaat Private Hospital is proud to participate in the annual World Malaria Day taking place on 25 April. This year’s theme is “harness innovation to reduce the malaria disease burden and save lives.” The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for innovation and investments to bring new vector control approaches, diagnostics, antimalarial medicines and other tools to aid in the fight against malaria. According to WHO, progress in lowering the global burden has been slow in recent years and urgent and concerted action is required.
What is malaria?
According to the WHO, malaria is “a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.” Did you know there are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans?
Most malaria cases and deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa whilst other regions like South-East Asia, the Western Pacific, Eastern Mediterranan and the Americas have reported a significant increase in both cases and deaths. A staggering 247 million cases of malaria were reported across the globe in 2021 with an estimated 619 000 deaths.
In 2020, the WHO found that 80% of all malaria deaths occur amongst children under 5 years of age.
Symptoms of malaria
If an individual has been bitten by a female Anopheles mosquito and contracts malaria, symptoms are likely to appear 10 – 15 days after the infected mosquito bite. Some types of malaria can lay dormant in the human body for up to a year. Here is a list of malaria symptoms:
- General feeling of discomfort
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle or joint pain
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart beat
Fortunately, malaria is treatable. Your doctor may conduct some blood tests and prescribe medication depending on the type of malaria you have and the severity of your symptoms.
How to prevent malaria
Here are a few tips to prevent malaria:
- If you are travelling to another country, inform yourself about the risk of getting malaria. The risk of infection can vary from the time of the year you are travelling to the activities you plan to do.
- Use a mosquito net at night as it can prevent the malaria mosquito from biting you. Be sure to tuck the net properly underneath your mattress. Avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, places with standing water and do not sleeping outside.
- Consistently apply mosquito repellent and wear long sleeve shirts and trousers at night.
- Speak to your healthcare provider about using an anti-malarial medication prior to entering the risk area.
Kiaat Private Hospital is proud to have professionally trained nurses and doctors who are committed to providing patients with high-quality patient-to-doctor care. If you are travelling to or from a malaria area, make an appointment with one of our professional healthcare professionals to address all your concerns. For more information, contact 013 590 9150.