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Using Malaria Medications for Travel: Tips for Preventing Malaria

thesis about malaria

Traveling is an exciting, character-building activity that provides memories to last a lifetime.  Travel should be fun, lighthearted, and exhilarating. However, there are some travel hazards you should be prepared for before starting your journey. One of the hazards is traveling to certain regions with a high risk of malaria infection. Learn about different malaria medications for travel.

What Is Malaria? 

Malaria is an infection spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are over 500 million malaria cases worldwide every year and over 1 million deaths. Over 40% of the world’s population lives in a region where malaria is endemic. These regions include Western and Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Western Pacific, and South America.

Malaria is not contagious from person to person. However, mosquito bites can still spread from an infected person to someone who isn’t infected. There are about 2,000 cases of malaria in the United States per year. However, that number can grow if you do not take preventative measures like malaria medications for travel before your departure. Because symptoms can take weeks to develop, a traveler may return home carrying the disease. If a mosquito bites them upon their return, that mosquito becomes a carrier and can infect other people.

What Are the Symptoms of Malaria?

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms if you know you’re traveling to a high-risk destination. Most symptoms do not show up until weeks after the initial infection, which can often lead to severe complications.

Symptoms of malaria include:

  • Fever and flu-like sickness
  • Stomach issues such as vomiting and diarrhea
  • Muscle aches and chills
  • Jaundice due to a loss of red blood cells.

If you don’t treat malaria infection quickly, serious complications such as kidney failure, seizures, comas, and death can occur. 

How Is Malaria Treated?

Fortunately, prescription drugs are available to treat malaria. Treatment varies based on your age, the region you were infected, the severity of symptoms, and whether or not you are pregnant.

Chloroquine is the preferred drug to treat all parasitic infections. However, in many countries with high malaria cases, mosquitos have become resistant to the medications used to treat malaria. This is why prevention is important if you are traveling to a country with a high risk.

Malaria Medications For Travel

thesis about malaria

To keep yourself safe while you travel, talk to your doctor about malaria pills for travel. There are many types of preventative medications you can take before traveling. Your doctor will ask you how long until your trip, where you will visit, and how long your trip will be — they will then create a care plan based on that timeline. There are a few popular malaria pills for travel, including:

  • Chloroquine is a pill that you take once a week. You usually start taking this medication 1-2 weeks before you travel, once a week during travel, and once a week for 4 weeks after returning home from your trip. You should not use this medication if traveling to a chloroquine-resistant region.
  • Malarone is a good option if your trip is on short notice. You begin taking Malarone once a day 1-2 days before your trip, every day you’re away, and 7 days following your return home.
  • Doxycycline is an antibiotic taken daily. You will begin taking Doxycycline 1-2 days before your trip, once a day during, and for 7 days after returning home.
  • Mefloquine can be an option if you are pregnant and in your second or third trimester while traveling. It is considered a safe drug to use before, during, and after travel.

Tell your doctor if you have any allergies or medication sensitivities. Your doctor will consider your medical history and determine the best course of action for malaria preventatives.

There are no approved malaria vaccines, and we are currently in the beginning stages of clinical trials for a vaccine.

Additional Tips For Preventing Malaria 

In addition to medication, there are other things you can do on your own to help keep you safe while traveling. Some actions are basic, and you can take care of these on your own before your trip, including:

  • Insect repellent: Pack lots of insect repellant. Make sure your bug spray contains a high concentration of DEET — the chemical that protects against malaria. Reapply every few hours for better protection.
  • Treat your clothes with insecticide : This will double your protection and keep mosquitos off your clothing.
  • Pack long-sleeved shirts and pants: If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors during your trip, pack clothes that cover your arms and legs. The less skin you expose to the elements, the lower your risk for malaria.
  • Mosquito net: Pack a mosquito net to drape over your bed while you sleep. This is especially important in tropical destinations where mosquitos are more active after dark.
  • Avoid rainy season travel: Mosquitos thrive in moist, humid environments. So try not to travel during the rainy season if you can.

Plan Smart, Travel Smart

Plan for your trip as far in advance as you can. It is ideal if you can start taking your malaria pills for travel as early as possible. If you stick to the advice of your doctor, take your travel malaria pills as prescribed, wear protective clothing, and use a mosquito net while you sleep, you will be well protected from malaria.


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Profile image of David Sheku Sesay


Malaria is a life¬ threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable. Malaria is endemic in Sierra Leone with a stable and perennial transmission throughout the country. The entire population is at risk of the disease. Malaria remains the most common cause of illness and death in the country. It is estimated that about 2. 2 million outpatient visits are caused by malaria every year, of which about one million patients are under five years old. Pregnant women and children under five years old make up 4.4% and 17.7% of the total population, respectively, and are the most vulnerable groups. Majority of communities found in rural Sierra Leone are less knowledgeable about the causes, treatment and preventive methods of the disease. It is responsible for the for the high morbidity and mortality rates among pregnant women and children under five in the district and the country as a whole. The purpose of this study is to investigate the factors responsible for the increase in malaria cases in Kayakoh Village which is found in the North-East of Sierra Leone, Koinadugu District, Kabala. A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out aimed at collecting quantitative data. Data were mainly collected using structured close-ended questionnaires, focus group discussions and brief review of health records from the district malaria strengthening unit at the Koinadugu District Government Hospital. There were one hundred and fifty (150) respondents selected as sample size. The study population consisted of children aged 12 years to 15 years and adults aged 18 years to 45 years and above. Data analysis was carried out by the use of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program. The study revealed that over 55% of the respondents were women who were willing to stand out rightly in making their voices known regarding the challenges they faced over the devastating effect of the disease. Knowledge on the causes, treatment, identification of the most vulnerable group as well as the known preventive methods used by the local residents was also revealed in the study. Revealing the significance of this study to government and implementing partners was one of the most important moves taken by the researcher. Also, there is high need for government intervention in making sure the people are educated about the causes, treatment and prevention of the disease.

Related Papers

Malaria and Infant Mortality in Sierra Leone

David Sheku Sesay

Malaria as a cause of Infant and Child Mortality at Tombo Community, Western Rural District, Sierra Leone, is of a grave Public Health concern, as a result of its incidence and prevalence. Therefore, people at rural settings with poor environmental conditions that factor the breeding of Mosquitoes and the urban poor especially, Slum dwellers, are most at risk. The study Aim focuses on assessing the impact of Malaria as a cause of Mortality among Infant and Children in a Rural Community, Western Rural District, Sierra Leone. Despite, efforts in Malaria control and interventions implemented in the recent and past, to attain the objective of the World Health Assembly to Roll Back Malaria, and the Millennium Development universal targets, aim of reducing and interrupting disease transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa, communicable diseases like malaria is still a Public Health challenge in Sierra Leone. The essence of this study is as a result of inadequate information on Malaria as a cause of Infant and Child Mortality, at Local, Regional and National level. This has posed barriers to Health Planners, Health Workers, Medical Tutors, Researchers and Other Agencies involved in the Health Care Delivery system. It is therefore believed that, data gathered and processed in his research will replenish data gaps on malaria as a cause of Infant and Child Mortality, in Sierra Leone. The study utilizes a case study design of systematic selection of respondents. Both Qualitative and Quantitative research approaches were used to investigate the following Objectives: The Socio-economic and Demographic features of child bearing mothers, the causes of Malaria among Infant and Children, the facilities available for combating malaria, and to examine the prevalence of malaria among infant and children. Data were analyzed and summarized within the lines of the Objectives, using Statistical Package for Social Scientist, Excel, descriptive statistics and frequency distributions. Results were presented in Tables and Chats. Upon the analysis, results showed that Poverty, Malnutrition and Environmental conditions are major Determinants to Child Health as a result of which majority of children born to families living within lowest wealth quarters have greater chances of dying than children born to families living within the average and or the highest wealth quarters.

thesis about malaria

Fortune Journals

Malaria remains one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria because the environment favours the multiplication of the parasite causing the disease. About 70% of pregnant women suffer from malaria, which contributes to maternal anemia, low birth weight, still birth, abortions and other pregnancy related complication. Prevention of malaria during pregnancy is a major priority for the roll back malaria partnership. A structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on the knowledge and utilization of malaria preventive strategies amongst five hundred (500) pregnant women randomly selected for the study. The respondent's knowledge on malaria and its preventive measures was calculated and analyzed using MS excel suite. More than 50% of the respondents were aware of the common signs and symptoms of malaria. Out of 500 respondents, 383 (76.6%) were aware of mosquito bite as the mood of transmission, 22 (4.4%) said mother to the growing fetus (Congenital malaria) and 13 (2.6%) said blood transfusion from an infected persons. Only 30% of the respondents said yes to treatment of malaria with Journal of Environmental Science and Public Health 176 herbs while 70% preferred treatment using antimalarial drugs like Artesunate and artemether. About 62% use mosquito nets, 68% have door screens, 84.6% use spray insecticides, 2.25% use mosquito coils as prevention methods. The hope is that this information will be useful in pinpointing the necessary health education and intervention strategies in preventing the malaria in Eket Local Government.

Amaechi Ebube

Animal Research International

The knowledge of the symptoms, treatment seeking behaviors and management of malaria amongst mothers and care-givers in Aba South LGA in South eastern Nigeria was assessed. A total of five hundred and two mothers and care-givers were interviewed using closed ended pre-tested structured questionnaires, which was administered to community members that fell within the targeted audience. The results of the investigations showed that there was a high level of knowledge of the causal agent of malaria, as 97.01 % attributed it to female anopheline mosquito bites. Radio (56.77%) and the television (20.32 %) was the major sources of information on malaria diagnosis and management strategies amongst the studied population. 54.58 % of the respondents had only secondary level of education. A remarkable mix-up of traditional and orthodox medication in the treatment of malaria was noticed. 53.19 % visited the patent medicine shop each time they fell ill and 37.85 % used local herbs. Some of the herbs were boiled before drinking, inhaled or used to bathe as the case may be, while 5.98 % visited the hospital. Preventive measures against mosquito bites included the use of insecticide spray (15.25%), use of mosquito coils (44.60%), use of insecticide treated bed nets (12.88%) and the use of fumes from Ocimum grattissimum (10.74%) locally called Nchanwu among others. We suggest that government should intensify efforts at reaching the rural dwellers that lack basic health amenities, these can be done by making available anti-malarial drugs, insecticide treated bed nets and finally the provision of intensive health education programmes are advocated to remedy and control malaria.

Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease

Virginia Quaresima

Malaria still represents one of the most debilitating and deadly diseases in the world. It has been suggested that malaria has different impacts on women and men due to both social and biological factors. A gender perspective is therefore important to understand how to eliminate malaria. This study aimed to investigate malaria from a gender perspective in a non-for-profit private health facility, HopeXchange Medical Centre, based in Kumasi (Ghana). A sequential mixed-methods design, comprising quantitative and qualitative methods, was used. This study found low ownership (40%) and use (19%) of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs). Most malaria cases were women (62%), who were less educated and had more external risk factors associated with infection. Our study reported a trend of preferring malaria self-medication at home, which was practiced mostly by men (43%). Our data suggest that women are more likely to be exposed to malaria infections than men, especially due to their prolonged ex...

BMC public health

Wakgari Deressa

Malaria Journal

Peter Ntenda

Background Malawi is a malaria-endemic country and approximately 6 million cases are reported annually. Improving knowledge of malaria causes and symptoms, and the overall perception towards malaria and its preventive measures is vital for malaria control. The current study investigated the levels of knowledge of the causes, symptoms and prevention of malaria among Malawian women. Methods Data from the 2017 wave of the Malawi Malaria Indicator Survey (MMIS) were analysed. In total, 3422 women of reproductive age (15–49 years) were sampled and analysed. The levels of women’s knowledge about: (1) causes of malaria; (2) symptoms of malaria; and, (3) preventive measures were assessed. The tertiles of the composite score were used as the cut-offs to categorize the levels of knowledge as ‘low’, ‘medium’ and ‘high’. Multinomial logistic regression models were constructed to assess the independent factors while taking into account the complex survey design. Results Approximately 50% of all ...

International Journal of Modern Science and Research Technology


Malaria unquestionably is a drain on human resources and global finance. Thus necessitates immediate action to implement preventative measures in order to mitigate it threats. In this study, the researchers assessed the awareness of malaria prevention measures among childbearing aged women in Jere LGA, Borno State of Nigeria. A survey research design was adopted together with a self-developed questionnaire selecting 350 women resident in Jere LGA who were aged 15years and above using a convenience sampling technique. Counts based on frequencies and percentages table were employed in data analysis. Findings depict that; there are various malaria prevention measures available in Jere LGA, child-bearing aged women in Jere LGA had satisfactorily good levels of awareness of various malaria prevention measures, child-bearing aged women in Jere LGA are utilizing various malaria prevention measures. Malaria prevention methods used in includes; cleaning of environment (98%), insecticides treated net (94%), anti-malarial drugs

Rita Chukwu


Lourensiana Ngaga


Science Journal of Public Health

habtamu beyene

Tanzania Journal of Health Research

Mathias Kamugisha

Oluwaseun Akinyemi

BMC Health Services Research

Veneranda Bwana , Maria Zinga

IJAR Indexing

Arthur Bangert

Socio-economic Determinants Influencing Cervical Cancer Screening in Buea: A Cross-sectional Study

Frederick Nchang Cho , Tassang Andrew

gracious diiro

Francis O Ouma

Habtamu Gobezie

European Journal of Public Health Studies

John Kariuki

Journal of Tropical Medicine

Asiwome Ameko

European Journal of Environment and Public Health

oyediran emmanuel

forman erwin Siagian


OLUWATOBI D . NOFIU , &Amp; Kperogi

Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Infectious Diseases

Baltazar Candrinho

Alex R Ario

African health sciences

John Ssempebwa


Journal of Preventive Medicine And Care

Wisdom Kudzo Axame

Malaria journal

Social Science & Medicine

ahmed mohamedani

Ethiopian Journal of Health Development

Ayalew Tegegn


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