Pre­ven­tive mea­sures to re­duce malaria urged

Pakistan Observer - - TWIN CITIES -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Health ex­perts on Thurs­day said that in­creased malaria preven­tion and con­trol mea­sures were es­sen­tial to re­duc­ing the malaria bur­den in the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to them, malaria was a life threat­en­ing dis­ease caused by par­a­sites that were trans­mit­ted to peo­ple through the bites of in­fected mos­qui­toes par­tic­u­larly in present high-risk sea­son.

They said par­a­sites were spread to peo­ple through the bites of in­fected anophe­les mos­qui­toes, called malaria vec­tors, which bite mainly be­tween dusk and dawn.

They added non im­mune trav­ellers from malaria free ar­eas were very vul­ner­a­ble to the dis­ease when they get in­fected.

Dr Wasim Khawaja from Pak­istan In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sciences (PIMS) said that par­ents and care­tak­ers of chil­dren needed to re­al­ize that it was their moral, eth­i­cal and re­li­gious obli­ga­tion to en­sure their chil­dren were pro­tected against dis­eases and dis­abil­ity through com­ple­tion of the im­mu­niza­tion course.

He urged me­dia per­sons to play their role in mo­ti­vat­ing fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties to avail of the free vac­ci­na­tion ser­vice against the dis­eases avail­able in the hos­pi­tals.

He said that malaria was an acute fe­brile ill­ness, adding, in a non im­mune in­di­vid­ual, symp­toms ap­pear seven days or more usu­ally 10 to 15 days after the in­fec­tive mos­quito bite.

Dr Khawaja said the first symp­toms like fever, headache, chills and vom­it­ing may be mild and dif­fi­cult to rec­og­nize as malaria. If not treated within 24 hours, malaria can progress to se­vere ill­ness of­ten lead­ing to death, he added. He said 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 in adults, multi or­gan in­volve­ment was also fre­quent while in malaria en­demic ar­eas, per­sons may de­velop par­tial im­mu­nity, al­low­ing asymp­tomatic in­fec­tions to oc­cur.

He said malaria epi­demics can oc­cur when cli­mate and other con­di­tions sud­denly favour trans­mis­sion in ar­eas where peo­ple have lit­tle or no im­mu­nity to malaria.—APP

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