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Malaria in pregnancy is dangerous and here's why


Malaria can make you experience hell on earth. Your whole world turns upside down. This is a condition no one wants to be in, worst of all when pregnant. Malaria in pregnancy is a matter of urgency because it poses risk to the mother and fetus. 


Malaria is caused when the female anopheles mosquito bites us and transmits the malaria parasite into our blood stream. The intensity of the malaria will vary and it will depend on the individuals acquired imunity, geograpical location and the intensity of the malaria transmission. 
Malaria in pregnancy is dangerous anc can cause the following:

1) Malaria in Pregnancy can cause infant mortality
Malaria parasites destroy our red blood cells and this can lead to anemia in pregnancy. Maternal anemia can cause low birth weight and infant mortality. 

2) There is the risk for Anemia in Pregnancy
Anemia can occur in severe malaria. Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. The symptoms of anemia include:
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired and weak
  • Dizziness
  • pale skin, nails and lips 
  • lack of concerntration 
Malaria in pregnancy can also cause the following:
3) Spontaneous abortion
4) prematurity
5) Low birth weight
6) Intrauterine fetal death 
7) Intrauterine fetal growth restriction

WHO recommends the following package of interventions for the prevention and treatment of malaria during pregnancy:
  • use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs);
  • in all areas with moderate to high malaria transmission in Africa, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP), as part of antenatal care services;
  • prompt diagnosis and effective treatment of malaria infections.
In Africa, Fansidar is given to pregnant women as part prophylaxis for malaria in pregnancy.

For those wishing to travel to malaria endemic regions such as in sub Sahara Africa, it is very necessary to take malaria prophylaxis. Consult with a healthcare provider before traveling.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 1,500 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States every year. They further highlighted that vast majority of malaria cases in the United States are in travelers and immigrants returning from countries where malaria transmission occurs, many from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

It is for the above reasons that malaria in pregnancy should be treated as an emergency. 

References:
World Health Organization Malaria in Pregnancy
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention About Malaria
women's health 5779783767170426939

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