Don’t let malaria spoil the occasion

Weddings, reunions, business or just a well-earned holiday with the family; there’s nothing better than a visit back home.

As we get ready for our trip, how many of us put malaria prevention high on the “to do” list? Perhaps not enough of us. In 2017, more than 80% of the malaria cases reported in the UK were in people who were returning from visiting family in their country of origin1.

There’s no single reason why those going back home are at higher risk of malaria than any other travellers, but the main factors include:

  • The trips tend to be extended — you’re away for longer periods than those on package tours or organised holidays
  • You tend to stay in friends’ and relatives’ homes. These may not have the screened, sealed windows or air-conditioning of a hotel, leaving you more susceptible to mosquito bites
  • You are less likely to use the recommended malaria prevention measures, which places you at greater risk of infection than the other types of travellers who are more likely to use insect repellent and take antimalarial medicines
  • Most significantly, you might consider yourself at low risk, or even no risk, of infection. Whilst it’s true that living in a malaria hotspot may give you a level of immunity, this fades very quickly once you move away2

Malaria is a serious, potentially fatal disease, and the medicines to protect or treat you may not be easily available overseas. Why take a chance?

Reduce your chance of getting infected with malaria by visiting your pharmacy to ask about antimalarial medications, such as Maloff Protect

Go to your local pharmacist for advice on whether Maloff Protect is right for you, and to purchase the other travel products you might need.

You should start taking antimalarial medications before you go away, and finish the full course when you get back. Conveniently, Maloff Protect should be taken for only 1 or 2 days before you go, at the same time once a day whilst you are away, and for 7 days after you leave the malaria area.

Given the possibility of antimalarials purchased in the tropics being fake or sub-standard, Public Health England advise that travellers should obtain the medication required for their chemoprophylaxis from a reputable source in the UK before they travel3.

If you have any questions about malaria or general travel health, consult your pharmacy staff.

1. Public Health England. (2017) Imported malaria in the UK: statistics. [Online]. Available from: Malaria_imported_into_the_United_Kingdom_2017.pdf

2. Carter R, et al. (2002) Evolutionary and historical aspects of the burden of malaria. Clin Microbiol Rev. 12(4). P.22-33.

3. Public Health England (2019) Guidelines for malaria prevention in travellers from the UK: Statistics. [Online] Available from: ACMP_guidelines_2018.pdf