Preventive measures urged to reduce malaria
ISLAMABAD: The health experts on Monday said that serious measures are essential to reduce malaria in the country. According to them, malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes, particularly in the coming high-risk season.They said that non-immune travellers from malaria-free areas are very vulnerable to the disease when they get infected. Wasim Khawaja from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) said that parents and caretakers of the children need to realise that it is their moral, ethical and religious obligation to ensure that their children are protected against such diseases.He urged the media personnel to play their vital role in motivating families and communities to avail free vaccination service for such diseases available in the hospitals. He added that malaria is an acute febrile illness, adding that in a non-immune individual, symptoms appear after seven days or more, usually 10 to 15 days after the mosquito bite. Khawaja said that the first symptoms, like fever, headache, chills and vomiting, may be mild and difficult to recognise. If not treated within 24 hours, malaria can progress to severe illness often leading to death, he added.He 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 noted that in adults, multi-organ involvement is also frequent while in malaria endemic areas, people may develop partial immunity, allowing symptomatic infections to occur.Khawaja added that malaria epidemics could occur when climate and other conditions suddenly favour transmission in areas where people have little or no immunity to malaria.