Chinonso Egemba, a medical expert, says malaria can cause pregnant women to have miscarriages, children with low birth weights, stillbirths and also make a fetus to stop growing.
Egemba told NAN on Sunday that a pregnant woman could experience such because malaria affects blood flow to the womb.
He spoke against the backdrop of World Malaria Day, marked every April 25, to draw global attention to the burden of the disease that threatens half of the world population. The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Zero Malaria begins With Me”.World Malaria Day 2020: Malaria, Importance, Theme And Its History
“As a doctor, I have seen pregnant women have miscarriages, children with low birth weights, have stillbirths and even make a child stop growing in the womb because malaria affects the blood flow to the babies in the womb,” he said.
“You may not understand it because to you, it’s just fever. Malaria destroys your red blood cells leading to anaemia. Anaemia reduces the blood capacity to carry oxygen and no cell in the body can survive for long without oxygen.
“Zero Malaria starts with you and me. We still have a lot of work to do. You and I have to play our parts in making sure this happens.”
According to Egemba, when a female anopheles mosquito that carries the parasite that causes malaria bites an individual, the parasite is injected into the bloodstream and some are stored in the liver and it breaks out from time to time.
He urged Nigerians, especially pregnant women, to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes by using insecticides, sleeping under treated nets and clearing bushes within their premises.
“You can prevent malaria by repairing your windows and plug the holes in them. Clear bushes around your house. Use insecticide-treated nets, a lot of people complain that it gets hot, but utility its better than being bitten by mosquitoes,” he said.
“If you are pregnant or living with sickle cell disorder, there are drugs you can used to prevent yourself from getting malaria . Take them and talk to your doctor too.
“Malaria wrecks havoc. Do well to prevent it.”