Malaria in Pakistan

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There are approximately 500,000 cases of malaria in Pakistan per year so malaria is still a risk in this country. It is prominent throughout the country and malarial transmission occurs all year round. It is estimated that around 12% of people who live in the rural areas of Pakistan carry the malarial parasite without showing any symptoms, which is dangerous and so rapid diagnosis is desperately needed in this country.

All areas below 2500m are at risk of malaria. Rural areas are the most at risk due to lack of proper sanitation in some of these areas. Flood affected areas also have an increased malarial transmission because the large amounts of water provide a moist environment in which the mosquito thrives. The risk of malaria is greatest in the July to August period but there is also a peak in October where transmission is at its highest.

The malaria parasites in Pakistan are Chloroquine resistant so this is not an effective malaria tablet in this region of the world. You will usually be prescribed Mefloquine, Malarone or Doxycycline to protect you from malaria and you need to complete your full course of tablets to ensure protection. However, malaria tablets are not 100% protective. You will also need to se insect protection measures and these are essential, as you want to avoid being bitten as much as possible. Sleep in an air-conditioned room with the doors and windows shut at all times. If this is not possible, you will need to sleep under a mosquito net. You will also need to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves to cover as much of your skin as possible. Stay indoors between dusk and dawn, as this is the time in which the mosquitoes are most active.

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