Malaria patients urged to complete medication


PORT Moresby’s Paradise Private Hospital (PPH) recorded more than 600 cases of malaria in the first two months of the year and it is urging patients to complete their prescribed medications to prevent infections from getting worse.
Hospital director of medical services Dr Polapoi Chalau said 668 cases of malaria were reported in January and February– 295 cases in January and 373 cases in February
In commemorating World Malaria Day on April 25, the hospital warned that though malaria was a common disease in PNG, it was claiming many lives.
Chalau said the most common illnesses in the hospital’s recorded over the last few years were flu, malaria and diarrhoea.
The World Health Organization estimated that in 2015, 212 million clinical cases of malaria occurred and 429,000 people died from it.
“This shows that malaria continues to be on the rise globally,” Chalau said.
“Malaria has always been an endemic in the country which means there is a lot more that needs to be done.”
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that infects a type of mosquito which feeds on humans.
Once an infected mosquito bites a human, the parasites multiply in the host’s liver before infecting and destroying their red blood cells.
“If you live in the city but go to the village and contract the parasite, you can return with the parasite without even knowing,” Chalau said.
“It will take about two weeks for the malaria parasite to mature and cause the infection.”
He said people who get malaria are very sick with symptoms such as high fever, chills and flu-like illness including severe headache, body pain, nausea and diarrhoea.
“The most vulnerable were children under the age of five, pregnant women, which can lead to premature delivery, people living with HIV, those with poor nutrition or poor health status and travellers from a non-malaria area to a high-risk area,” Chalau said.
He said people should get rid of tin cans, coconut shells, tyres or anything that held water because they were common breeding grounds.
Chalau said authorities should ensure all drains in the city were not blocked.