SADC Malaria Week: Intensifying the Fight against Malaria 06 – 10 November 2023

  SADC Malaria Week: Intensifying the Fight against Malaria
The week of the 06th to the 10th of November holds particular significance in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as it marks SADC malaria week.  This week aims to increase malaria awareness and promote stronger collaboration among members of the regional bloc to reduce the spread of this deadly disease.

To effectively manage malaria, it is crucial that travellers and healthcare practitioners adhere to the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Travelers and Healthcare Practitioners: 1.    Confirm Malaria Transmission in the Destination Country Travellers are strongly advised to consult resources such as  the CDC  malaria information by country  to determine the malaria risk and recommended treatments and prevention measures.

2.    Conduct Individual Risk Assessment
Healthcare practitioners should conduct thorough individual risk assessments on travellers to ensure that the most appropriate preventive measures are recommended.  Factors to consider during the assessment include the destination country and city, accommodation type, form, and time of travel as well as health status and age of the traveller.

3.    Adherence and Compliance to Anti-Malaria Measures
It is important to remember that while chemoprophylactics do not provide 100% protection against malaria if taken as prescribed by healthcare professionals they reduce the risk of acquiring malaria considerably.  Non-pharmaceutical measures such as repellents with at least 30% DEET and bed nets (ideally treated in insecticides) are also effective in preventing malaria. 

4.    THINK Malaria
Recognising the signs and symptoms of malaria is crucial in preventing severe illness. In adults, common signs and symptoms include headaches, cold shivers, sweating, and muscle pain. In children, symptoms may present as fever, lethargy, poor feeding, vomiting, diarrhea, or coughing. Healthcare practitioners are advised to be vigilant and consider the possibility of malaria in patients exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms, particularly in those with recent travel to malaria-endemic areas. Patients are urged to inform healthcare professionals of recent travel to malaria-risk areas when presenting with flu-like illness.
To learn more about SADC Malaria Week, click here.
Communicated By: National Institute for Communicable Diseases