Is it really necessary to take Prophylaxis for Malaria?


Q: Good day. We will be leaving for Mozambique on Thursday. We will be visiting Guinjata. First of all, my son is 16 years old and is currently taking Purbac as well as Oratane for his acne. I understand that he can't take Melanil or any other medication with this. My daughter is 11 and I would like to know what your honest opinion is on Malaria medication. Is it really necessary? And if so am I allowed to take it with the medication I am taking for Depression and Bipolar disorder.


A:   Travel to sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania entails the greatest risk, especially from the potentially fatal P. falciparum malaria. Mosquitoes in Africa are more apt to be carrying malaria parasites. For example, the proportion of infected anopheles mosquitoes in western Kenya may exceed 20%, whereas in Latin America and Asia less than 1% of anopheles mosquitoes are infected. Taking medicines to prevent malaria is essential, if you're visiting an area where malaria is prevalent. The problem can be choosing the most appropriate antimalarial for the country you're visiting. You also need to take into account your individual circumstances. Your pharmacist, doctor or travel clinic will be able to tell you what the recommended regimen is for the country you're visiting. Certain anti-malarial drugs do interact with the medication you are on, for which you may need to talk to your pharmacist or doctor.

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