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By Pharm. Gbemisola Martins

Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease that continues to have a devastating impact on the health and livelihood of people around the world. In 2020, there were an estimated 241 million new cases of malaria and 627 000 malaria-related deaths in 85 countries.  (W.H.O. 2022)


When a person who has malaria is bitten by a mosquito, the mosquito becomes infected. When that mosquito bites someone else, it transfers a parasite to the other person’s bloodstream. There, the parasites multiply. There are five types of malaria parasites that can infect humans (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, P. malariae). 

But the major one that affects Nigerians is Plasmodium falciparum. 

In rare cases, people who are pregnant and who have malaria can transfer the disease to their children before or during birth.

It’s possible, but unlikely, for malaria to be passed through blood transfusions, organ donations and hypodermic needles.


Some people who have malaria experience cycles of malaria "attacks." An attack usually starts with shivering and chills, followed by a high fever, followed by sweating and a return to normal temperature, other signs and symptoms may include;

  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Cough


Malaria can be fatal, particularly when caused by the plasmodium species common in Africa. The World Health Organization estimates that about 94% of all malaria deaths occur in Africa, most commonly in children under the age of 5.

Malaria deaths are usually related to one or more serious complications, including:

  • Swelling of the blood vessels of the brain, or cerebral malaria
  • An accumulation of fluid in the lungs that causes breathing problems, or pulmonary edema
  • Organ failure of the kidneys, liver, or spleen
  • Anemia due to the destruction of red blood cells
  • Low Blood Sugar



  • Your healthcare provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms.
  • The blood test will be taken to  identify the type of parasite that’s causing your symptoms.


It’s important to start treating malaria as soon as possible. Your provider will prescribe medications to kill the malaria parasite.

Some drugs are given in combination with other drugs. The type of parasite will determine what type of medication you take and how long you take it.

Antimalarial drugs include:

  • Artemisinin drugs (artemether and artesunate). The best treatment for Plasmodium falciparum malaria  is artemisinin combination therapy.
  • Atovaquone (Mepron®).
  • Chloroquine. There are parasites that are resistant to this medication.
  • Doxycycline (Doxy-100®, Monodox®, Oracea®).
  • Mefloquine.
  • Quinine.
  • Primaquine.


Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn, hence to protect yourself from mosquito bites, you should:

  • Cover your skin by wearing fully covered clothing
  • Apply insect repellent to skin, these include repellents that contain DEET. 
  • Apply repellent to clothing; Sprays containing permethrin are safe to apply to clothing.
  • Sleep under a treated net; Bed nets  treated with insecticides, such as permethrin, help prevent mosquito bites while you are sleeping.

5 commentaires

  • mich

    Gbemi well done

  • Chinanza

    My mentor the most humble Pharm

  • Pharm. Stella

    I have a question…

  • Pharm. Stella

    I have a question…

  • Pharm. Oreloluwa

    My Team Lead!!!!!

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