If you travel to countries where malaria is present, then there’s a significant risk of you getting the disease. Before you travel to a particular country, research whether or not malaria is present there.
If malaria IS a risk in the country, then visit Toome Pharmacy for malaria advice. Our pharmacists have undertaken advanced, specialised training in malaria prevention and can prescribe suitable medication.
Taking steps to prevent the disease
Obviously prevention is always better than cure, so it’s vitally important that you take precautions to prevent getting malaria.
The ABCD approach can be very useful for preventing malaria. ABCD stands for:
Awareness of risk – finding out whether you're at risk of getting malaria
Bite prevention – avoiding mosquito bites by using insect repellent, covering your arms and legs, and using a mosquito net
Checking whether you need to take malaria prevention tablets – and, if you do need to, making sure that you take the right antimalarial tablets at the right dose, and finish the course
Diagnosis – seeking immediate medical advice if you do start to display malaria symptoms, including up to a year after you return from travelling.
Remember though that nobody has complete immunity to malaria, and any level of natural protection you may have had on previous visits to a particular country is quickly lost when you move out of a risk area.
Obviously it’s not possible to avoid mosquito bites completely, but it stands to reason that the less you're bitten, the less likely you are to get malaria.
The most common ways to avoid being bitten include:
Choosing accommodation that has effective air conditioning and screening on doors and windows
If an air-conditioned room isn’t available, sleep under an intact mosquito net that's been treated with insecticide
Using insect repellent on your skin. The most effective repellents contain diethyltoluamide (DEET) and are available in sprays, roll-ons, sticks and creams from Toome Pharmacy.
Where possible, wearing loose-fitting trousers and long-sleeved shirts instead of shorts and T-shirts. These should be worn in early evening and at night in particular, since these are the times when mosquitoes tend to feed.
Since there's currently no vaccine available that offers protection against malaria, it's very important to take antimalarial medication to reduce your chances of getting the disease. Remember, however, that antimalarials will only reduce your risk of infection by about 90%, so taking steps to avoid bites (as detailed above) is very important.
At Toome Pharmacy, we can prescribe and dispense the most commonly-used antimalarials, along with a wide range of other travel-related medicines and products.
If you’re planning a trip to a country in which malaria is present, book a consultation with one of our pharmacists.