By Lydia Ngwakwe
Dr Tochukwu Egwuonwu, a General medical practitioner with Samaria Hospital, Ago-Lagos, on Tuesday advised people to stop the belief that “when a child comes down with frequent malaria, it is a spiritual attack.”
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that malaria was a protozoan infection caused by an organism called Plasmodium.
According to her, the specie that affects people the most, especially in Africa, is the Plasmodium falciparum he described as the culprit for severe malaria.
“Having malaria is scientific; you can explain it. It is only left for us to reduce the attack.
“First, if your child has a fever, always go to the hospital or at least, visit the laboratory and be sure it is malaria that is wrong with the child.
“This is because sometimes, it might just be something else.Ensure your children sleep inside an insecticide treated net.
“Also, try and get a net to cover your doors and windows of your house so as to control the amount of mosquitoes entering in and also fumigate regularly.
“Stop the culture of hoarding things that are not useful in your house.
“Do not store them, example keeping a spare tire at home, when rain falls, it collects water and then the water becomes a feasting place for mosquitoes to thrive.
“Ensure your drainage function properly.
“When you do all of these, you will find out that your child will no longer have frequent malaria,’’ Egwuonwu said.
The medial doctor also said that reoccurrence of malaria was due to wrong diagnose.
Egwuonwu, who said most anti-malarial treatments were usually for three days noted, however, that the challenge had always been that some patients “are very interested in taking their medication from the beginning to the end.“
She said once medications were not taken completely to the end, there was the tendency that such patients would again come down with the disease in a very short time.
The doctor warned people to stop assuming that every time they came down with fever it meant they had malaria infection.
Egwuonwu said some symptoms could just be typical of stress that the treatment would only require the patients to have judicious rest.
She noted that the environment could also cause frequent fever due to improper disposal of waste, inimical to public health.
The medical expert advised people not to store water in dark containers, saying that dark containers encouraged mosquitoes to breed, adding that most times, the containers were left uncovered.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says malaria remains a major health challenge in Nigeria and other African countries as it kills a child every minute.