MALARIA IN PREGNANCY: DOUBLE TROUBLE
Malaria kills thousands of people yearly, though it may seem like a norm especially here in Nigeria. In fact, Malaria is often wrongly diagnosed as most people attribute any slight rise in temperature with weakness to malaria. Many also begin to treat themselves without laboratory tests or even seeing a doctor, which is very wrong.
Malaria infection during pregnancy is a significant health problem with prevalent risk for the pregnant woman, her foetus and the new born child and as such shouldn’t be taken with kid’s gloves. It is very common in pregnancy compared to the general population; this may be due to depressed immune system usually seen during pregnancy. Due to hormonal and immunological changes, the parasitemia tends to be ten times higher and as a result more severe in pregnancy.
It is important to note that some anti malaria drugs are not advisable during pregnancy hence the need to avoid patronising road side drug peddlers when symptoms of malaria are observed. Even the management of complications of malaria may be difficult due to the various changes during pregnancy. That is why it is important to visit a hospital for antenatal care. Some of the complications of malaria in pregnancy include anaemia, hypoglycaemia, immunosuppression, risk for the foetus such as still birth, low birth weight, premature birth.
Management of malaria in pregnancy is very complicated and involves three aspects; treatment of malaria, management of complications, management of labour. It is very important that one is properly diagnosed and managed in a reputable hospital.
Overall, prevention they say is better than cure; why not prevent malaria instead of treating it. Some preventive measures may include sleeping under mosquito treated nets, avoid keeping stagnant water where mosquitoes can breed, ensure surroundings are clear of bushes.
What other preventive measures do you know? Feel free to share in the comment section.
By: Mmaduka Chidinma ([email protected])