A medical expert has revealed that malaria can cause pregnant women to have miscarriages, children with low birth weights, stillbirths, and also make a fetus to stop growing.
Dr Chinonso Egemba, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) disclosed that a pregnant woman could experience such because malaria affects blood flow to the womb.
The expert also spoke on the backdrop of World Malaria Day marked every April 25, which draws global attention to the burden of the disease that threatens half of the world population.
The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Zero Malaria Begins With Me”. According to Egemba:
“As a doctor, I have seen pregnant women have miscarriages, children with low birth weights, have stillbirths and even make a child stop growing in the womb because malaria affects the blood flow to the babies in the womb.
“You may not understand it because to you, it’s just fever. Malaria destroys your red blood cells leading to anaemia. Anaemia reduces the blood capacity to carry oxygen and no cell in the body can survive for long without oxygen.
“Zero Malaria starts with you and me. We still have a lot of work to do. You and I have to play our parts in making sure this happens.”
According to the medical personnel, when a female anopheles mosquito that carries the parasite that causes malaria bites in an individual, the parasite is injected into the bloodstream and some are stored in the liver and it breaks out from time to time.
He urged Nigerians, especially pregnant women to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes by using insecticides, sleeping under treated nets, and clearing bushes within their premises. Dr. Egemba further advised:
“You can prevent malaria by repairing your windows and plug the holes in them. Clear bushes around your house. Use insecticide-treated nets.
If you are pregnant or living with sickle cell disorder, there are drugs you can use to prevent yourself from getting malaria. Take them and talk to your doctor too.nMalaria wreaks havoc. Do well to prevent it.”