Although large regional disparities exist with respect to the burden of malaria, the disease has long been a significant and life-threatening problem among nations across the globe.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malaria kills 435,000 people a year, a great deal of whom are Africans, with children under the age of five constituting a troubling 61 percent of such deaths.
Caused by plasmodium species, considerable complications including respiratory distress, liver and kidney failure, shock, brain and central nervous system problems could result from malaria if not swiftly treated.
Despite the investment of up to $3.1 billion in 2017 by malaria endemic countries and their international partners, the progress against the diseases has been at a standstill, according the WHO.
Malaria has also undoubtedly remained one of the leading causes of death in Nigeria with an estimated 300,000 lives lost to the disease annually.
While the international community remains resilient in the struggle against malaria, there are some effective practices that every Nigerian/African should be reminded of as the world marks its malaria day.
Prevent mosquito bite
Although it is not possible to completely avoid mosquito bites especially when living in countries or regions that are more prone to mosquitoes, malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes and avoiding being bitten remains one of the most logical preventive measures.
Sleeping under permethrin-treated mosquito nets and using same to cover open windows and doors while keeping others closed is a good way to start. Ensure you’re always dressed in long pants and sleeves while outside if you live in a high-risk areas.
You should also consider spraying your home with insecticide while you’re out for the day or talk to your doctor to recommend insecticides of varying strengths if you have children who could be intolerant.
Use preventive medications
Malaria is preventable if you take the right steps. You could schedule an appointment with your doctor for advice and prescription drugs that could serve preventive purposes with prior consideration of health conditions.
You should also consider wearing mosquito repellents such as DEET or picaridin at night as these contain chemicals that could considerably keep mosquitoes away from your skin, thereby preventing mosquito bites and malaria disease in turn.
One of the most effective ways of preventing malaria is to avoid creating environmental conditions under which mosquitoes could thrive.
Malaria thrives in dirty and moist environments, thus, cleaning the surroundings and keeping surrounding bushes low is a good way to tackle the menace.
You could also consider environmental modifications especially with respect to surrounding waters (whether within the home or surrounding environs) and drainage systems that could be breeding mosquitoes.
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