How to effectively prevent malaria

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Like most Nairobians, I like to escape the noise and hustle in a quiet place out of town when I can afford it. This is mostly during a long weekend holiday like Easter or during Christmas.

Last Easter, my friends and I decided to go to Kisumu and explore what it had to offer. We stayed at my friend’s house and despite it being the rainy season, the afternoon showers and the army of mosquitoes (we hardly slept under a net) did not deter us from having a good time.

On Monday we travelled back in Nairobi. I was fine for about a week after I arrived in the city, until I started feeling unwell. I began to experience cold chills even if it was hot outside and I’d look ridiculous draped in a heavy scarf and a jacket. At night, it was hard to sleep comfortably because my body would heat up as a result of the fever and it would be accompanied with a headache. I lost my appetite and generally felt weak all day. Whenever I did manage to eat, I would end up vomiting.

It was hard to get through the daily activities with the body aches and pains, headaches and fever and after two days, I found time and went to a health centre. After giving an account of my symptoms, I was tested and diagnosed with malaria and given medicine. I had to adhere to the dosage strictly and it was not long before I was in good health and back on my feet.

Malaria is caused by a parasite called plasmodium which is carried by the anopheles mosquito. It attacks everyone but children and expectant women are the most vulnerable.

Mosquitoes tend to hide in dark places and areas that have overgrowth. They prefer to breed in stagnant water and that is why during the rainy season, there’re more mosquitoes because of all the rain water that collects in buckets, potholes, sewer systems etc.

While malaria is curable, it can be fatal, especially if a wrong diagnosis is made (this usually happens when you resort to over the counter treatment methods without proper testing) or if you fail to get proper treatment in time by ignoring the symptoms.

You can prevent malaria by clearing any bush or long grass around your home. The long grass is a perfect place for mosquitoes to hide since they like dark places. If you have storage tanks that collect rain water, ensure that they are always sealed so that mosquitoes do not have a surface of water to breed on. You should also get rid of any broken pots, containers or buckets when it rains as these are perfect for collecting rain water and in turn act as breeding grounds. Ensure that doors​ and windows are closed before dark so that mosquitoes don’t get inside the house.

When you are planning a trip, it’s important to take malaria prevention medicine to ward off any attacks. You can also carry a repellent and apply it reduce your chances of getting malaria.

Make sure that you always sleep under a mosquito treated net.

Mortein Doom insecticide spray is a 100% effective indoor method for malaria prevention by killing the mosquitoes that spread malaria. You can spray it around the house, especially behind curtains and under chairs and cupboards.

You can also use the Mortein Doom Liquid Electric Refill which when plugged into your socket, emits insecticide to give you protection from malaria causing mosquitoes for up to 30 nights. You can vary the intensity of the insecticide emitted depending on the level of protection you want to get.