Health experts have warned that if not treated at the notice of its early signs, malaria can get to a complicated stage, which can lead to death.
Severe malaria, health experts say, occurs when infections are complicated by serious organ failures or abnormalities in the patient’s blood or metabolism. The manifestations of severe malaria include; Cerebral malaria, with abnormal behavior, impairment of consciousness, seizures, coma, or other neurologic abnormalities
According to Dr Myres Lugemwa from the National Malaria Control Program, if untreated in time, the simple malaria can progress to a severe stage which is fatal and poses other health scares.
“If not treated within less than 24 hours, the simple malaria with normal symptoms like body weakness, joint pain and fever can progress into complicated malaria. You can become very anaemic, get convulsions, pass bloody urine, get disturbed and think you are mad and you can even collapse and die immediately,” he said.
He said that among pregnant women, they may get miscarriages or premature labour which greatly affects children.
“For the children it’s even worse. They usually have severe diarrhoea, vomiting and they get dehydrated. As clinicians, we have noticed that we are getting children with severe complications and some families have lost their 8, 12-year olds because of malaria complicating into severe cases. It comes and the child gets kidney failure immediately,” he said.
He revealed that since April 2020 to date, over 1000 people have succumbed to malaria compared to the 200 plus covid-19 victims, a clear reminder that malaria is a killer disease.
“Severe malaria is very dangerous. If you don’t die, you are likely to get complications. There are some mentally sick people in Butabika who most likely acquired a post malaria sequelae and they didn’t treat it so when malaria goes to the brain, it gets complicated. Some of the poorly performing children in school have had severe malaria in their childhood,” Dr. Lugemwa stated.
He further advised people to test malaria once they experience any fevers since treatment of severe malaria is costly and might be a burden for the less earning families.
“The current treatment where we give intravenous injections plus other treatments may cost not less than 72 dollars; about Shs 260,000 excluding the opportunity cost and admission,” he said.