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Part 5: Malaria prevention

Many of you have probably wondered during the last posts how malaria infection can be avoided. This is what we want to explain to you today. Malaria prevention can happen in two ways:

1) Exposure prohylaxis

The best thing would be if we are not stung first, because then no malaria infection can develop (No sting = No infection). So how to protect from mosquito bites?

  • Wear adjusted clothing (long trouser legs, stockings, long sleeves, bright colors)

  • impregnate clothing with suitable #insecticides

  • Rubbing the skin with mosquito repellents (active ingredient DEET or Icaridin)

  • Avoid the times when the malarial mosquito is active: twilight, at night, early morning hours

  • Frequent showering and daily changing of socks

For tourists, these may be easy options. In malaria areas, however, not all measures are feasible in the long term, e.g. avoiding certain times of the day, buying mosquito repellents. The WHO has therefore established 2 core interventions for prevention:

  • Sleeping under insecticide-treated #mosquito nets

  • Spraying the houses with insecticide sprays (indoor residual spraying)

These measures have made great progress in the fight against malaria. However, malaria mosquitoes are already resistant to one of the 4 most commonly used insecticide classes in 78 countries. In 29 countries, there is even resistance in all major classes.

2) Drug prophylaxis

Preventive chemotherapy is medication taken alone or in combination to malaria prevention:

  • Chemoprophylaxis (for travelers) to suppress a blood stage of infection

  • Intermittent preventive treatment of infants

  • Intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women

  • Seasonal malaria chemoprevention

  • Mass administration of drugs

In addition, since October 2021 there has been a # vaccine that the WHO recommends for children from regions with moderate to high malaria transmission. It is not yet available in all parts of the world.



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