According to the World Malaria Report, since year 2000,
💉 6 countries have eliminated malaria;
💉 12 countries have attained zero malaria status;
💉 More than 40 countries have fewer than 10,000 cases.
🌍 Essentially half the world is now malaria-free. In the other half of our world, thousands, mainly children are being killed by Malaria.
Indeed, the perennial, age-long war against Malaria is at a cross road, are we #ReadyToBeatMalaria?
LET’S HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.
Mosquitoes transmit malaria parasites. If they don’t bite us, 99.99% of malaria cases will be averted in human population. If humans no longer have the parasite, mosquitoes won’t get re-infected. So, malaria transmission in urban and semi-urban communities will be completely interrupted and eradicated.
Notably, mosquitoes do not just transmit ONLY Malaria parasites, in case you are thinking malaria can easily be cured with medications.
Most of the mosquitoes in urban and semi-urban areas are NOT Anopheles. Many are culex and Aedes mosquitoes, etc.
These mosquitoes transmit very dangerous viruses and worms that are not easily amenable to simple medications. Like Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Lymphatic Filariasis [commonly called Elephantiasis], etc
Besides worries about Malaria, we all need to do ourselves some favour, PREVENT YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF from mosquito bites.
You can make your environment & home mosqiuito free. It takes collective effort to rid our homes and neighbourhood of open, stale water sources.
Intermittent fumigation from time to time will destroy both larva and adult mosquitoes in the vegetations, water bodies and hidden corners.
Interestingly, this week doubles as the world immunization week. So, attempt to check the immunization records of your children and yourself.
YELLOW FEVER has a vaccine that works. Walk into a health centre nearby to get vaccinated if your records of past vaccination is in doubt.
Generally, to save your life and that of your loved ones, ensure you test every episode of persisting FEVER before assuming it is just Malaria.
Fever can be due to many other diseases transmitted by the same mosquitoes. And for most of them, early diagnosis and prompt treatment is the surest guarantee of survival, full recovery or minimal complications.
If it is Malaria, using an artemisinin-based combination drugs from a reliable source is important. ACTs, as the medications are called has the added advantage of killing the forms of the malaria parasite that mosquito picks up when they bite. Thereby, disrupting the transmission cycle. Most other antimalaria do not have these effect.
In summary, where ever you see “Mr, Ms. or Mrs Mosquitoes”, don’t be kind, “shoot at sight” for the kill. Those guys are not known to hold any positive value, healthwise.
It’s 25th April, the World Malaria Day. To mark the day & at every other day through the year, we should all freely share this info with everyone on our platforms.
The question i was asked:
Any suggestions with regards to the “shoot and kill” strategy? Some children may react to certain insecticides, like Baygon. Are there safer brands in the market that you could suggest? Also, can frequency of falling ill due to malaria affect a child’s ability to learn? Please, share your candid responses@Dr Abraham.
😃 lol. @ #ShootAndKill Strategy
“The shoot to kill at sight strategy” against mosquitoes is a mnemonic that implies USING ALL NECESSARY MEANS.
However, safety of measures used is paramount to avoid self poisoning and envrionmental hazards.
In that wise, using chemical measures should be your last option. All efforts should focus on physically preventing the survival of mosquitoes in your home & environment.
DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT attempt to procure, store and use, dangerous industrial chemicals because you want to kill mosquitoes.
Risk of self poisoning is very high.
When environmental chemical use becomes inevitable, call fumigation experts to do it. They come with their chemicals, use them safely and go with any remnant.
Please, ensure you observe more than the recommended timeframe to stay away from a recently fumigated premises. It depends on the chemicals used.
Safe physical measures include, never allowing physical collection of OPEN water in your home & neighborhood, including flower ports. If you store water, keep them in airtight, sealed containers.
LET THE DRAINAGES FLOW. FLUSH THEM REGULARLY. Apply an oil film over any body of open water that you cannot eliminate, from time to time.
CUT THE VEGETATION AROUND YOU, if any.
Fix appropriate nets in your doors & windows. There are insecticide treated nets, procure that if you can find them. Otherwise, properly fitted regular insect-nets would do.
Wear well-covering clothes when outdoor if your environment is insects infested. Long sleeves, trousers and stockings might be the barrier to save your child & yourself from that nasty insect bite that begins your journey to developing malaria.
It is not about whether it is day or night, the mosquitoes that transmit urban yellow fever, Dengue and Elephantiasis bite during the day. Wear protective clothings when outdoors.
Not only children, adults react to several insecticides. I find many insecticides highly repugnant, myself. Hence, i am not a fan of insecticides and other chemical measures. They should be reserved for when all other measures fail.
I will not attempt to recommend any specifically #safe brand of insecticide. Not because i don’t want to endorse any brand but, that you can not tell which one a person will react to until he/she is exposed to it. They are all toxic, no matter how sweet smelling the perfume added is. Sometimes, it is not the active ingredient that is the problem but, its concentration, addictives, duration after spray before re-entry house, direct spray on the child’s clothing, toys or bed, etc.
So, the best recommendations for parents is never use any type that you have reacted to. If you reacted to it, your child will likely do.
Do not spray the insecticides directly on clothing or solid objects where it might stick for longer, it is meant to be sprayed into the air. If it is powder, it is meant to be used in corners that are inaccessible to children. Infact, don’t use insecticide powders if you have little children.
Generally, the rule of thumb is to spray your home when you are going away for #hours. Ignore that 15-30minutes instructions. Give it hours, when you are back, the smell should be out, and lesser risk of reaction.
NB: There are insecticide-treated paints, which you can use on your house. They are safe and effective for years. If you can afford them, search your local sources and order.
Certainly, frequent Malaria affects a child’s neuro-development, cognition and ability to learn.
It is one reason #Malaria remain one of the biggest problem of the African child. It accounts for significant gaps in the cognitive performance of the African child relative to those in Malaria free zones of the world. I will spear you the details.
With chances of an effective vaccine still some time away, your newborn and growing child depends majorly on you, the parent particularly the mother to survive Malaria in the first few months to years of life.
That brings to bear the broad importance of #Breastfeeding to a child’s protection from many diseases, neuro-development and cognitive performance.
Your child do not have any prior immunity to many diseases including malaria, and are unable to protect him or herself. Breastfeeding was one way African mothers helped their children survive the endemic disease through the generations. Today, as recommended, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 4-6months, and continuation with complementary feeds for up to 2years, is one effective way of boosting your child’s ability to fight Malaria, other diseases, and grow optimally.
Do not forget other measures already discussed above.
Most importantly, if your child has a persisting #fever, don’t ignore, don’t self-medicate, visit your nearby health facility to test for what is causing that fever. Yes, i know it could be annoying to frequently visit hospitals but, it is a lot wiser, cheaper and better than “i wish i had presented earlier”.
Let’s #fight, #RollBack, #Beat and #End Malaria, in our lifetime.