I recently attended the Africa Health Tech Summit, also known as #AHTS23, which took place from 17th of October 2023 to 19th October 2023. The summit was all about acknowledging and celebrating digital health innovations, exploring new and exciting ways to use technology to improve healthcare in Africa.
Cerebral malaria is a severe and often fatal form of malaria that affects the brain and nervous system. It is commonly seen in young children and is a major public health concern in Nigeria, where malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children under the age of five.
The onset of symptoms can be sudden and severe, and without prompt treatment, cerebral malaria can quickly become life-threatening.
What causes cerebral malaria?
The major cause of cerebral malaria is the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The parasite then enters the red blood cells, where it multiplies and causes the symptoms of malaria. Children are particularly vulnerable to cerebral malaria because their immune systems are not fully developed.
How do I treat cerebral malaria?
Treatment for cerebral malaria in children typically involves antimalarial medications such as artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). These drugs work by killing the parasites in the blood, which helps reduce the symptoms of malaria and prevent complications. Intravenous fluids and oxygen may also be administered to support the child's breathing and circulation.
It is important to note that early diagnosis and treatment are important for preventing the progression of cerebral malaria and reducing the risk of death. Parents and caregivers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of malaria in children and seek medical attention immediately if they suspect their child has the disease.
What can I do to prevent cerebral malaria?
Cerebral malaria is a severe and potentially life-threatening form of malaria that disproportionately affects young children in Nigeria. Parents and caregivers should be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and seek medical attention immediately if they suspect their child has malaria. Prompt treatment with antimalarial medications and supportive care can reduce the risk of death and help children recover from the disease.
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