Malaria, an infectious disease caused by the parasite Plasmodium Falciparum, is a preventable and curable condition. But being a mosquito-borne disease, it remains a major public health hazard globally. Here’s a detailed guide on how to prevent malaria through simple measures.
Five Tips On How To Prevent Malaria
1. Sleep In A Well-protected Area At Night
Don’t sleep out in the open or near any place with stagnant water, especially near lakes, ponds, or garbage dumps. These places are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, carriers of the malarial parasite.
Cover your bed with an enclosed mesh saturated with insecticides to protect yourself from mosquitoes while you are asleep, and ensure that the mesh is free from any damage.
If you happen to sleep in a tent, ensure that it has no holes through which mosquitoes can enter.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved garments and full-length trousers, especially at night. Wear light-colored dresses, as they can provide some protection from these pesky insects.
Mosquitoes generally cannot survive and multiply in cool, air-conditioned rooms, so keeping the air conditioner switched on is a good way to keep the mosquitoes away.
2. Make Use Of Mosquito Repellents
If you’re wondering how to prevent malaria, this should be your obvious second measure.
Use mosquito repellents like sprays, mats, or coils in your house, especially in your bedroom and living room. These items are rich in pyrethroid or N-N diethylmetatoluamide (DEET), which help in warding off mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Apply mosquito repellent lotions or creams to the exposed parts of your skin for better effect.
3. Use Prophylactic Medication
If you are planning to travel to a tropical location that is generally known for the outbreak of malaria, it is recommended that you take a prophylactic dosage of an anti-malarial drug, both before and during your travel.
Usually, drugs like Chloroquin or Mefloquin can be taken either on a daily basis or on a weekly basis, as per the instructions of your physician.
4. Ensure That You Are Not At Risk From Infected Blood
Malarial cases have been known to occur after the transfusion of infected blood, the use of shared needles during intravenous drug abuse, and during organ transplants.
A pregnant woman infected with malaria can transmit the disease to her fetus through the placenta, but this can be prevented by taking proper precautions as advised by the doctor.
One important point to note here is that while malaria is infectious, it is certainly not contagious.
5. Try Natural Remedies
Recent studies have shown that the consumption of fenugreek seeds can prevent malaria, as they aid in the removal of the causative malarial parasites from your body.
Consuming grapefruit daily is another natural method of preventing malaria, as grapefruit contains a high content of a well-known anti-malarial therapeutic substance called quinine.
How To Prevent Malaria Through Education And Public Awareness
The World Health Organization has reported that in certain parts of East Africa, educating people about the causes and symptoms of malaria reduced the occurrence of the disease by nearly 20%.
Once you learn about the basics of malaria, you’ll learn how stagnant water (as found in water tanks) is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry the malarial parasites. If you make an effort to keep such areas covered, the risk of the disease’s spread is reduced.
According to current statistics, approximately 2 billion individuals in over 100 countries are at a risk of contracting malaria.
By not learning how to prevent malaria, you might be putting yourself and your family at risk. With the ongoing global research on the disease and the efforts of scientists to develop anti-malarial vaccines, prevention of malaria is expected to get easier in the coming years. Till then, you can beat this potentially deadly disease by taking the precautions detailed above.