The WHO says that more than half of the world’s population is at high risk of developing malaria. This means, you must know how to effectively prevent malaria so that you are protected from this health problem.
This is because traveling to malaria-endemic areas, even for a short time, can increase your risk of this health problem. Especially for pregnant women, infants, children, and the elderly with weak immunity. It can be said, malaria is a disease that is quite dangerous. These health problems can quickly lead to loss of consciousness, seizures, shortness of breath, shock, and even more serious problems, such as heart, kidney, lung, and brain failure. So, what steps should be taken to prevent this disease? Here are some of them:
Understanding the Risk of Malaria
The first way is to recognize malaria in depth. Know what the symptoms are, their effects or complications, and what can be done to treat them. In addition, it is also important to know how the malaria case is in the city or country of destination if you are planning to travel. If you are a high-risk person, you should avoid traveling to malaria endemic areas.
Taking Antimalarial Drugs
Generally, each country has recommendations for antimalarial drugs that can be consumed to prevent these health problems. The options include:
Atovaquone or proguanil is the right antimalarial drug if you have to travel to malaria endemic areas in the near future. This one drug can be taken between one or two days before traveling, every day while in an endemic area, and for seven days after returning home.
The next drug of choice is chloroquine which can be taken before traveling just once per week. One dose approximately 1-2 weeks before travelling, one dose weekly while at the destination, and one dose weekly for four weeks after discharge.
Doxycycline is an antibiotic class of drugs that can fight Plasmodium parasite infections. This drug can be taken for 1-2 days before traveling to malaria endemic areas.
Mefloquine can be taken as much as 1 time a week, exactly 1-2 weeks before traveling. However, this drug is not recommended if you have to make a sudden trip, have a history of seizures, or certain psychological problems.
Primaquine is the most effective drug of choice for preventing Plasmodium vivax parasite infection. This drug must be taken at least seven days before traveling to malaria endemic areas and taken every day while at the destination.
Avoiding the Risk of Mosquito Bites
Although it is effective in preventing malaria, there is still no drug that can completely protect you from this health problem. Therefore, you need to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes. The trick is to wear long clothes during activities outside the home, especially in the morning and evening. Because, malaria mosquitoes are most often found at that time.
In addition, use a mosquito repellent lotion that contains DEET or diethyltoluamide when you are in a malaria endemic area. Then, at night, wear sleepwear or a blanket that can cover the whole body and use a mosquito net if necessary.
Eliminate Potential Mosquito Nests
Of course, malaria prevention becomes more effective if you also eradicate all places that have the potential to become mosquito nests, especially in the house and the surrounding environment. Use insect repellent in the room or routinely spray comfortable medicine every morning and evening. In addition, spray insecticide or insect repellent to prevent mosquitoes from wandering.
Avoid hanging clothes or letting clothes pile up in the room as these can be ideal places for mosquitoes to hide. Take 3M preventive measures to eradicate mosquito nests, namely periodically draining water reservoirs, burying unused used items, and closing water reservoirs. Effective Ways to Prevent Malaria