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Childhood-diseases

Question
Posted by: Leke | 2004/12/15

Q.

Malaria

Hi, I'm going away to Zimbabwe for christmas and I'm taking my 1yr old baby with. What can I give him to prevent him catching malaria. Please help

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

The best advice is to keep small children out of malaria infested areas if at all possible. The next important thing is to be diligent to prevent mosquito bites, by not exposing skin after dusk, applying repellant and using a mosquito net at night. Prophylactic medication at this age is problematic and it may depend on your babies weight. It would be best to discuss the options with your doctor or pharmacy.

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2
user comments

C.

Posted by: Leke | 2004/12/15

I Really appreciate your help Purple. Thank you

Reply to Leke
Posted by: Purple | 2004/12/15

You should see your paediatrician before you go. (you usually start with prophylactics a week before going).

I don't know what the malaria situation is in Zimbabwe - they might not keep it under control the way it is done in this country, and paediatrician's ually advise that children aren't taken to areas with uncontrolled malaria.

Ensure that there is mosquito netting on all doors, windows, and openings.
Don't allow baby outside from dusk onwards.
Ensure that baby has long sleeved clothing on at night and that there is no exposed skin.
Cover his camp cot with a mosquito net.
Use Mike Mozzy spray on his bedding and clothing.
ensure there is no stagnant water around.

Malaria is an extermely serious illness.

If its possible, contact a local doctor in the area you will be visiting. An anopheles mosquito must bite a person infected with malaria in order to spread the disease (the anopholese mosquito carries the disease, it doesn't cause it), and find out how many cases of malaria there have been recently. If there has been one in the last month or so, then it isn't advisable to go.

Remember that summer is peak malaria season.

I visit my parents in a malaria area with my baby (first time at 5 weeks old), so I'm not trying to scare you off of taking your baby. Our health department applies stringent anti malaria measures in our endemic malaria areas, you should speak to a Zimbabwean doctor based in the area you are visiting to find out about their control measures. You can then even go so far as to test your baby at the end of your holiday, though I"ve heard that pathologists won't pick up malaria unless they are used to seeing it, don't know how true it is, but I would use a lab in the area you're visiting.

Reply to Purple

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