India comes fourth in the list of countries with the highest number of malaria deaths. For April 25th, World Malaria Day 2018, let’s get ready to beat malaria by raising awareness and taking preventive steps to reduce mosquito bites.
Malaria is an infectious disease, caused by a parasite that spreads through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Once inside the bloodstream, it multiplies in the person’s liver before infecting and destroying the red blood cells.
An infected person won’t show symptoms for up to 10 days. Some early symptoms to look out for include fever, headaches, chills, general weakness and body aches.
As the initial symptoms of malaria are similar to that of the flu, it’s often left misdiagnosed and untreated. As the disease progresses, various parts of the body start to fail, leading to problems like respiratory issues, anaemia and kidney failure.
If you suspect you’re affected, it is best to get a blood test done to confirm the diagnosis. Once accurately diagnosed, malaria can be effectively treated with medications. It’s better to get treated at the early stages and avoid complications such as organ failure. Although malaria is a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
If you think you’re free from the risk of malaria then think again. Six-year-old Shyamlal of Rigwar village had a fever and headache that lasted three days. A doctor at the nearest primary healthcare centre, 25 kilometers away, diagnosed Shyamlal with malaria and recommended him to a hospital another 30 kilomteres. While his father made frantic calls to arrange for funds and transport, Shyamlal passed away.
While many may attribute such deaths to lack of money, transport and healthcare facilities, the main concern remains the ignorance of malaria.