Besides which some of the prophylactics you are given can mess you up plenty, liver etc.....
I think this only happens if you really take it for too long. When we initially moved to Moz, my SO was on Lariam for 6 months…due to the nature of his work at that time he could not afford to get malaria. We got his liver functions tested every now and then and there was no problem. I doubt that people taking Larium for say 5 weeks will have a problem.
Most of the malaria prophylaxes are also used for the treatment of malaria. Apparently the World Health Org. prescribes which of these medications should me used for treatment and which should be used for preventative measures in various counties. The reason for that is to prevent the parasite to get immune to all available medication. This is why they have a BIG issue with people/countries now using Artemisinin as a prophylaxis. Anyway, let’s say you take Mefloquine (Lariam) as a prophylaxis and you still get malaria, that malaria will not get as sever as it would have had if you did not take the medication…reason: you were already busy treat yourself while you took the Lariam….not in the required doses for treatment, but it still helps.
We also need to be realistic: people still getting malaria while using proper prophylaxis in the correct way, are the exception to the rule.
Living in Mozambique we, for obvious reasons, do not take prophylaxis. But prevention of bites is ALLWAYS on our minds. It is essential for to keep our house free of mosquitoes and the moment we put our foot out the door at night we spray …permanently have Tabard cans at all the doors. BUT, if we go on holiday to say Inhambane(very high-risk area) in malaria season, we do take prophylaxis because: 1. I do not have control over mosquitoes inside our accommodation 2. While on holiday you tend to relax and forget about spraying yourself the moment it gets dark.
In contract to this friend, I had to describe to some of the learning-physicians (in the States, hospitals help in the training of the MDs) the diagnosis, symptoms, and treatments. Most had heard of the disease but never expected to encounter it in the midwest of the US!
This is the biggest problem I have with people telling foreigners not to use prophylaxis.
I will not get myself treated for illnesses in a Moz hospitals, but if I get malaria, I will not go to any other doctor than a Mozambican doctor….they treat thousands of malaria cases and know the ins-and-outs of this disease. Also, the most up to date medication for the treatment of malaria is available in the country. This is not the case in the States as Schoemanskloof’s post rightfully illustrated.
The locals has the luxury to take a chance with malaria because we have doctors that are knowledgeable about this disease…this however does not count for the whole country’s doctors…a while back a child died in George from malaria because the doctors never treated malaria before….did not have the experience to do the diagnoses and treatment.
Just for interest sake: Cerebral malaria is not a separate form of malaria (WTM also mentioned this in another thread)….it is a complication of P. falciparum malaria. If the falciparum malaria is not treated fast enough, the parasite infects the brain and blocks the brain arteries…that is cerebral malaria and if in a progressed sated, treatment is seldom successful.
One of the symptoms of cerebral malaria is that you get delirious. This is why, if they admit you with falciparum, they normally ask you questions like “Do you know where you are” etc. You also hallucinate: a friend of mine’s SO saw ellies walking down the street.
Don't want to get malaria, but who can afford 1200 zar for two persons for one week in the park?????
Graemy, malarone is not the only effective prophylaxis…there are several cheaper options. True, some of them do affect some
people, but they are cheaper and just as effective.
In some respects I don't think there should be a thread on such a serious subjet. Some people might give wrong or misleading information.
I sort off agree with you on this. Maybe in addition to this discussions the mods can create a sticky thread with quotes from reliable sources
(Ok, I suppose I can also do that for them…will have to wait to next week….I’m of to Marloth)