The Anti-Malaria Campaign Continues
The Kitwe District Health Management Board (KDHMB) director Chikafuna Banda spoke about malaria last week. This was during the visit by the Minister of Health, Kapembwa Simbao. Zambia and her Roll Back Malaria partners, can indeed be proud of being one of the first African countries to reach the World Health Organization target to Roll Back Malaria mortality by more than 50% compared to 2000.
Malaria-related deaths have decreased by 66% but we cannot afford to relax. This is why it is re-assuring that the Kitwe District Health Management Boardis continuing with tough measures against malaria.
Here are some quick reminders of the facts:
- Reduce your chances of getting bitten by mosquitoes
- Use anti-malarial medication prescribed by your doctor when travelling to high risk areas
- Keep arms, legs and feet covered between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active
- Reduce outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active (dusk to dawn)
- Sleep under an insecticide-treated mosquito net (ITNs)
- Use of mosquito coils
- Indoor Residual Spraying(IRS)
- Clearing of bushes
- Clear pools of stagnant water
- Burying of ditches
- Get tested early when you develop a fever
- Follow the treatment you are prescribed
High Risk groups include children and expectant mothers.
MALARIA IN CHILDREN
Seek early diagnosis of all febrile illness
Follow the above measures
MALARIA IN PREGNANCY
Where there is low malaria transmission, adult women have not developed sufficient immunity. They are twice as likely to catch severe malaria compared to villages or shanties with a higher transmission rate.
Complications include anemia, spontaneous abortions, premature labour, neonatal death, low birth weight and maternal death from severe malaria.
Register early in pregnancy for Intermittent Preventive Treatment of Pregnant women(IPTp) at your local ante-natal clinic.
Considering that malaria has been responsible for millions of deaths in Africa, we have made very significant gains, but the battle is far from over.