My name is Olumide and I live in Nigeria. I have had malaria too frequently and it’s giving me a lot of concern. I had one last August 2012 and am having another one this October as I am speaking with you. If I should count it, I’ll be having nothing less than 6 occurrences in a year. It’s always an headache induced malaria whereby after using the ACT combination recommended by WHO, two days after, am still having headache, am asthmatic though and can’t use more than Paracetamol. I am tired of all these and need your help.
One of the key things you should check is how you are being diagnosed with malaria—the symptoms of malaria are very general, such as headache, chills and fever. I have seen cases where people assume they have malaria and so take ACTs without getting properly diagnosed, and so they never actually go to the doctor to have their real illness diagnosed. Therefore, next time you feel sick, you should go to the doctor or to a clinic and make sure they do a proper malaria test. This will either be via taking your blood and looking at it on a slide under a microscope, or by using a drop of the blood in a rapid diagnostic test (RDT). I believe that in some parts of Nigeria, you can even buy the RDT in local pharmacies, and do the test yourself at home. Only if you test positive for malaria should you take ACTs; if the test is negative, you should go to a doctor and ask about other possible illnesses with similar symptoms (such as flu, pneumonia, etc).
At the same time, it could be that you are suffering from repeated malaria attacks, in which case you will need to improve your personal protection in order to prevent future attacks. Sleeping under a long-lasting insecticide treated bednet is crucial; you should also wear long-sleeved clothing at night and at the evening since this is when malarial mosquitoes in Africa are usually most active. You may also want to consider indoor residual spraying; this coats the inside walls of your house with insecticide, further reducing the number of mosquitoes that may bite you inside your home. For more information, please see our Malaria Prevention overview page: http://www.malaria.com/overview/malaria-prevention