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How to prevent malaria, a life-threatening disease?
What is malaria?
Malaria is one of the most dangerous life-threatening infectious diseases caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes, called vectors. There are 5 parasite species that cause malaria in humans, and 2 of these species – P. falciparum and P. vivax – pose the greatest threat.
How deadly is it?
According to the latest World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, released in December 2016, there were 212 million cases (approx. 21 crores) of malaria in 2015 and 429 000 deaths.
Is it preventable?
Malaria is largely preventable and curable, and increased efforts are dramatically reducing the malaria burden in many places. Efforts of WHO have proven to be yielding results. Between 2010 and 2015, malaria incidence among populations at risk fell by 21% globally; during the same period, malaria mortality rates among populations at risk decreased by 29%. An estimated 6.8 million malaria deaths have been averted globally since 2001.
What are the symptoms?
Malaria is an acute febrile illness. In a non-immune individual, symptoms usually appear 10–15 days after the infective mosquito bite. Following signs and symptoms may appear in recurrent manner:
- Moderate to severe shaking chills
- High fever
- Profuse sweating as body temperature falls
- General feeling of unease and discomfort (malaise)
Children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the following symptoms: severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria. In adults, multi-organ involvement is also frequent. In malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur.
Who is at risk?
Some population groups are at considerably higher risk of contracting malaria, and developing severe disease, than others. These include infants, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and patients with HIV/AIDS, as well as non-immune migrants, mobile populations and travelers.
How can it be prevented?
Some of the dos and don’ts will help to reduce the risks as below:
- Remove water from coolers and other small containers at least once in a week.
- If it is not possible to completely drain the water off from room cooler, water tanks, etc., put about two tablespoons (30 ml.) of petrol or kerosene oil into them for each 100 litres of water. This will prevent mosquito breeding.
- Discard items that can collect rain or runoff water, especially old and discarded tyres, broken pots, etc.
- Prevent entry of mosquitoes into the house.
- Use screen on doors and windows.
- Keep unscreened doors and windows closed.
- Let the spray workers conduct the spray, whenever they come to spray your house. It is in your own interest to get the house sprayed.
- Use mosquito nets, mosquito repellent creams, liquids, coils, mats, etc., even while sleeping during day time.
- Do not allow water to collect around homes to eliminate mosquito-breeding site.
- Do not wear clothes that expose arms and legs.
- Do not let the garbage collect near house.
- Do not allow children to play outdoors in shorts and half/without sleeves clothes.
- Travel to a malaria risk-area during pregnancy is NOT recommended as malaria tends to take a more severe form in the pregnant females.
How homoeopathy can help?
Government bodies and authoritative literatures suggest the below medicines for malaria with indications. Please note that it is only for information and you must consult a physician.
Arsenicum album 30: Fever at regular intervals, coming either at mid-day or midnight. Extreme weakness. Marked anxiety, restlessness and fear of death. Burning pains. Unquenchable thirst, drinks small quantity at frequent intervals. Worse in wet weather and from cold exposure; better from warmth.
Eupatorium perfoliatum 30: Fever with great soreness and severe aching of bones. Chill between 7a.m. and 9 a.m. Chill preceded by unquenchable thirst. Sweating relieves all symptoms except headache.
Chininum sulphuricum 30: Fever comes at regular intervals, at the same hour every day. Chill begins at 3:00 p.m. daily. Shivering even in a warm room.
Cinchona officinalis 30: Marked chill followed by fever and sweat. Fever paroxysm mostly begins at night. No thirst during chill and heat. Body extremely sensitive to touch, but hard pressure relieves. Flatulence, whole abdomen distended due to gas. Loose stool.
- Publications of various WHO documents
- Publications of CCRH, Government of India