Untreated malaria can lead to mental illness, warns expert | The Guardian Nigeria News

Mr Tobias John, a public health expert, warned on Friday that malaria could lead to common mental disorders (CMDs) if left untreated.

John, who is the North East Zone Coordinator of the National AIDS Control Agency (NACA) gave the warning in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe.

He said the warning was imperative given the lack of proper awareness about malaria and the various health complications that untreated malaria could cause.

He said that malaria is sensitive to human health given the series of health complications associated with the disease and its tendency to weaken the human immune system in a short time.

John said that if people with malaria knew the implications of the disease on human health, “they would not hesitate to treat the disease; malaria is a life-threatening disease.

“Malaria can lead to brain damage and seizures when it results in anemia or blood shortage which affects the functionality of the brain.

“Malaria causes a common mental disorder that is associated with poor blood circulation in the brain and when your blood level is low it cannot move the quantum the brain needs for normal functioning.

“Then you know that your coordination will definitely be affected and the brain may start reacting in the opposite direction or in various ways.

“Once you have reached this level, rest assured that it has become complicated and such a person may start speaking out of place, losing coordination, resulting in common mental disorder.”

The NACA coordinator said that malaria is a gateway disease for many other diseases, especially those associated with HIV, TB and even COVID-19, hence the need to ensure control measures. appropriate prevention and treatment.

He advocated for a rapid response approach to malaria treatment through proper testing before prescribing drugs, while warning against self-medication.

John said the approach most people take to treating malaria without testing was not ideal, “there are five species of parasites that cause malaria in humans.

“Malaria until it is diagnosed, you may not be able to know which parasite is responsible and which specific malaria drug.

“If you want to be specific about what needs to be done to cure malaria, you have to go and do a laboratory test, identify the plasmodium responsible; which will guide the treatment options.

“Once this is done, it reduces the implications that come with malaria,” he said.

The public health expert called on Nigerians to always take the issue of malaria seriously given its complications to human health.

John also called on journalists and civil society organizations in Gombe to raise awareness to help communities know about the implications of untreated malaria and the need to seek appropriate healthcare in the event of malaria.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nalaria is a deadly disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

It is preventable and curable.

The WHO World Malaria Report reveals that there are approximately 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020.

This represents approximately 14 million additional cases in 2020 compared to 2019, and 69,000 additional deaths.

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