Malaria prophylaxis

Because as nurses we don’t often dispense or prescribe for malaria prophylaxis, there is a risk that it will not be seen as important from the patients point of view.

Malaria is very common to contract and can make people extremely ill. Many people do not complete the course because they may think that the risk when returned from holiday is no longer there. This is not the case.

Travellers who visited friends and relatives in malaria-endemic areas were less likely than other travellers to these regions to seek pretravel advice, take prophylaxis and have a visit duration less than 2 weeks; travelling to Africa and being male increased the odds of being diagnosed with malaria, independent of other factors. This data suggests that targeted strategies to provide pretravel care to travellers who visit friends and relatives in malaria-endemic areas may aid in reducing the burden of malaria in this population. (Dewdunee H. Marasinghe, MScPH, James Cheaveau, BSc MBBS, Bonnie Meatherall, MD MSc, Susan Kuhn, MD MSc, Stephen Vaughan, MD, Rudolf Zimmer, MD, and Dylan R. Pillai, MD PhD)

 The incidence of Malaria for those travellers are 2.82 times greater than that of other travellers.

The research above also showed that some travellers visiting friends and relatives may downgrade their perceived risk owing to a faulty belief in ongoing protection from past exposure to malaria before emigrating. This may be a reason for some to avoid taking effective anti-malarial prophylaxis.

The tool in the materials section show information regarding the chemoprophylaxis given.