Malaria Prevention - Article by Douglas Defty

Here you can ask questions about Anti-Malaria Prophylactics and other preventative measures.
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Malaria Prevention - Article by Douglas Defty

Postby Hennie » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:26 pm

(Taken from the Overland Forum Archives)

There are a number of different types of anti-malaria tablets available.
Choosing one depends both upon the particular area being visited, and
your own medical history.
Within South Africa's borders the recommended products are either
Mefloquine (Mefliam/Lariam) or Doxycycline as being the most effective
anti-malaria medication. Both of these drugs require a prescription.

Mefloquine (Mefliam/Lariam) is taken in adult dosage of one tablet per
week. Commence at least one to two weeks before entering the malaria
area and continue for four weeks after leaving the malaria area.
Mefloquine is best taken in the morning after a meal, and with liquids.
The principal contra-indications to the use of Mefloquine are a history
of neurological, psychiatric problems or epilepsy. Not indicated for
scuba divers or pilots. However it is well tolerated in children.

Doxycycline is taken in an adult dosage of 100mg per day, starting two
days before entering a malaria area. It should be taken for four weeks
after return. The drug should be taken after a meal (preferably the
morning, and the enteric coated one is even better tolerated), and
swallowed down with plenty of liquid. Do not lie down for a few hours
after taking the medication. It should be avoided in pregnancy and
children. Safe to use when scuba diving or piloting an aircraft.

A combination of chloroquine and proguanil has been used in the past as
prophylaxis against malaria and is available without a doctor's
prescription. This combination is more difficult to use than the simpler
Mefloquine and Doxycycline regimes, and is believed to offer less
protection. This combination is falling out of favour due to its'
reduced effectivity due to chloroquine-resistant malaria.

There is no evidence to support the fact that homeopathic or
naturopathic medication works.

No method of malaria prevention is one hundred per cent effective, and
there is still a small chance of contracting malaria despite the taking
of anti-malaria medication and the adoption of personal protection
methods. This does not mean that anti-malaria medication and personal
protection measures should be neglected, simply that any person
developing possible symptoms of malaria should seek medical advice
immediately despite having taken the prescribed precautions.


The parasite causing most malaria in Southern Africa is potentially the
most dangerous species of malaria, and can prove rapidly fatal. Symptoms
may develop as soon as seven days after arrival in a malaria area, or as
long as six months after leaving a malaria area. Symptoms of malaria are
often mild in the initial stages, resembling influenza. NEVER ignore any
signs or symptoms as your condition can deteriorate very rapidly and has
every possibility of resulting in death!


Symptoms of malaria may include a general body ache, tiredness,
headache, sore throat, diarrhoea, and fever. These symptoms may not be
dramatic, and can easily be mistaken for an attack of influenza or
similar non-life threatening illness. A high swinging fever may develop,
with marked shivering and dramatic perspiration. Complications of a
serious nature, such as involvement of the kidneys or brain (cerebral
malaria) may then follow

All persons possibly exposed to malaria who develop any influenza like
illness or fever within seven days of entering, or six months of
departing a malaria area should seek immediate medical attention, and
have urgent blood tests taken to check for possible malaria infection.

NEVER ignore any signs or symptoms as your condition can deteriorate
very rapidly and has every possibility of resulting in death!


Malaria is a potentially fatal disease caught from mosquitoes biting
you. Prevention relies on measures to reduce bites, and taking
anti-malaria medication appropriate both for the destination and the
traveller. Any traveller developing influenza like symptoms or fever
within three months of return from a malaria area should be tested for
malaria, even if taking preventive measures.

It is vitally important that you consult with your pharmacist or medical
doctor prior to leaving for a malaria area so as to ensure that you
receive the latest information on prophylaxis and/or treatment.



Postby Danie » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:16 am

Is there any off these anti-malaria tablets that one could take while you on a scuba diving trip?

Ivan Marais

Postby Ivan Marais » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:27 pm

You can use Doxymycin 100mg per day.
Diving deeper than 30m has its own problems, contact me offline if you intend doing this

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