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Experts call for awareness to prevent Malaria outbreak.

ISLAMABAD -- Specialist on 'World Malaria day' called for creating awareness at the grassroots level for prevention of Malaria as there was an urgent need to make people aware about the diseases so that children suffering from it could be treated properly.

Talking to PTV news channel, Specialist Dr Abdul Ghafar Bilo said, World Malaria Day was observed across the globe on April 25 to create awareness about the disease, which has been one of the greatest causes of death.

'Poor sanitation and drainage systems in our towns and villages also provide new breeding grounds for mosquitoes and resulting in more and more cases of malaria', he added.

He mentioned that many countries including Europe and America in the world have succeeded in purging Malaria from their soil after adopting preventive measures.

He has made an appeal to civil society, doctors, teachers, students, politicians and all segments of the society to launched an awareness campaign against Malaria virus as collective efforts are needed to counter this menace.

Educating people to adopt preventive measures, practice safe sanitation and proper waste disposal is of utmost importance when combating Malaria.

He urged to use treated mosquito nets to keep malaria at a bay during the summer season.

Dr stressed the need to keep the environment clean and avoid stagnant water where mosquitoes breed near residences.

'Early treatment of malaria is the only way to save children from death,' expert added.

Calling it a poor man's disease, Dr said that malaria in country was mainly caused because of a lack of awareness and improper sewerage system specially in the city of Karachi due to negligence of past governments.

Malaria symptoms include fever, headache, flu-like symptoms, body aches and pains, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Dr said children younger than five, the elderly and pregnant women were at greatest

risk.

To prevent malaria, people are urged to avoid traveling to Malaria endemic areas, especially if one is at risk, take anti-malarial medication before one travels to these areas, avoid mosquito bites by: staying indoors at night, wearing long-sleeve shirts and trousers or using mosquito repellents that can be applied to exposed skin area, burn mosquito repellant candles and coils, spray insecticides, and use nets around the bed.

He also urged parents to take their children for medical checkup whenever they suspect malaria symptoms.

He requested government at all levels and traditional rulers to increase awareness on malaria among rural dwellers.

Malaria is a preventable and curable infection but still it claims life of a child every two minutes around the globe and thousands of deaths can be attributed to it and co-morbidities every year in Pakistan though majority of even reported cases are not screened properly and given suspected status only.

The neglected pools rapidly turn into an optimum breeding ground for mosquitoes that can carry the malaria virus and the dengue fever virus, he mentioned.

Health specialist said Malaria that causes deaths mostly in infants, children and pregnant women every year is the second most prevalent and devastating disease of the country as approximately 40 to 50 per cent of the population is living in areas where the disease is endemic.

Dr further said for early diagnosis of malaria, microscopic examination of blood slides are performed at primary and secondary healthcare facilities though, he accepted that there may be many cases which are treated on signs and symptoms only.

'Proper care to get dried puddles of standing water or sprinkling oil over stagnant water, creating a file, can prevent breeding of malaria-causing mosquitoes,' Dr added.
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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Apr 26, 2019
Words:663
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