Monsoon; preventive measures urged to reduce malaria

ISLAMABAD: The health experts have said that increased malaria prevention and control measures are essential to reduce the malaria burden in the country.They pointed out that malaria was a life-threatening disease, caused by parasites that were transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes, particularly in the high-risk season. They said that parasites spread to people through the bites of the infected anopheles mosquitoes, called malaria vectors, which bite mainly between dusk and dawn. They added that the non-immune travelers from the malaria free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected. Sharif Astori from the Poly Clinic Hospital said that the parents need to realise that it was their moral and religious obligation to ensure that their children were protected against the diseases and disability through the completion of immunisation course. He urged the media personnel to play their vital role in motivating the families and communities to avail the free vaccination service against the diseases available in the hospitals.He said that malaria was an acute febrile illness, adding that in a non-immune individual, the symptoms appear after seven days or more, usually 10 to 15 days after the mosquito bite. Astori said that the first symptoms may be fever, headache, chills, and vomiting and it would be difficult to recognise it as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, the malaria can progress to severe illness often leading to death, he added. Wasim Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said that the children with severe malaria frequently develop one or more of the symptoms like severe anaemia, respiratory distress in relation to metabolic acidosis, or cerebral malaria.He said that in adults, the multi organ involvement was also frequent while in the malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing asymptomatic infections to occur. He said that malaria epidemics could occur when the climate and other conditions suddenly favour the transmission in areas where people have little or no immunity to malaria. 

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Aaj Kal