Malaria is a life-threatening disease spread by the female Anopheles mosquito, a carrier of the causative malaria parasite, Plasmodium. Malaria presents symptoms such as headache, fever, body pains, and fatigue. It is prevalent in tropical and warm regions such as Africa, Asia, South and Central America, The Caribbean and several other regions.
Malaria is known to be endemic in Nigeria, and adequate information on its prevention is important. Malaria during pregnancy is a critical topic; sometimes, pregnant women may not effectively protect themselves from malaria. This article explains the best and most effective ways to prevent malaria in pregnancy.
Why should you take malaria seriously as a pregnant Nigerian woman?
In Nigeria, approximately 373,000 pregnant women had malaria in 2019. To protect yourself and your unborn child from malaria, visiting your doctor and receiving regular checkups is crucial. Avoid self-prescribing drugs during pregnancy. Please speak with your doctor before taking any drugs because it has a lot of side effects on the growing fetus.
Side effects of untreated malaria on the fetus
Some side effects which can occur due to untreated malaria on both mother and the fetus include:
Premature delivery: This condition occurs when the baby is born before it comes to full term.
Intrauterine growth restriction: This, often known as IUGR, is the condition in which a fetus does not develop as expected. The baby is not as large as one might anticipate, given the mother's pregnancy and the stage of the infant.
Congenital malaria: This is the presence of malarial parasites in the peripheral smear of a baby between the 24th and 7th day of life. The baby might exhibit signs including fever, loose faeces, jaundice, and regurgitation.
Perinatal mortality: The term refers to the death of a fetus between 22-28 weeks of pregnancy and before the first 7 days of life. It could also be seen as stillbirth in some instances.
Can malaria cause miscarriage?
Untreated malaria in pregnancy can cause spontaneous abortion, also known as a miscarriage. This could be due to pathogen infection of the fetus and severe anemia, leading to a miscarriage.
Effective prevention of malaria as a pregnant Nigerian women
You can use certain insect repellents avoid malaria during pregnancy. Additionally, you can apply topical repellents for mosquitoes, such as lotions for malaria.
However, it's crucial to use caution and read all labels before application because most substances absorb into the skin and may cause allergic reactions. Insecticides are acceptable, but you should leave the area where it's being sprayed.
The World Health Organization has suggested precautions for pregnant women to prevent malaria. These recommendations include:
- Utilizing insecticide-treated nets as early in pregnancy as possible.
- The administration of sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine as an intermittent preventative treatment during pregnancy.
Try to follow the numerous preventative procedures as a pregnant Nigerian woman. To ensure malaria's early detection and treatment, take your health seriously and always attend your antenatal visits.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Can I take dongoyaro water to treat malaria?
There are few scientific claims about dongoyaro water's efficacy in treating malaria. However, some evidence suggests that dongoyaro water can treat malaria. But it's unsafe for you to use dongoyaro water to treat malaria during pregnancy.
Can malaria cause miscarriage?
Yes, untreated malaria can cause a miscarriage.
Can I use anti-malarial creams in pregnancy?
Yes, you can use certain anti-malarial creams in pregnancy. Just be sure to check through the active ingredients for possible allergies.
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