Residents urged to protect themsevles if visiting countries affected by malaria this Christmas
Croydon residents are being urged to protect themselves if visiting friends and family in countries affected by malaria this Christmas.
Of the 88 malaria cases in South West London confirmed by the Malaria Reference Unit in 2012, 40 were from Croydon.
Public Health England (PHE) and African Diaspora for Action Against Malaria (ADAAM) are jointly calling for greater awareness of the disease.
Ralph Tanyi, coordinator of ADAAM, said misconceptions about malaria drugs being expensive and people born in countries affected by malaria thinking they are ‘immune’ to the disease were part of the problem.
"Our advice is that people should not take any risks with their health and should speak to their doctor about medication to prevent malaria, no matter how short the trip.
"Because of these misconceptions and because malaria is totally preventable, it is vital to raise awareness in South West London."
Between 2000 and 2012, 88 percent of all imported malaria cases were acquired in sub-Saharan Africa, with 45 percent of all cases travelling to Nigera.
Dr Barry Walsh, PHE London’s local director of health protection for south west London, said: "Malaria is a preventable disease, so it’s concerning that we continue to see cases in people from South West London who have travelled abroad.
"It is particularly worrying that 86 percent of cases in London who contracted malaria reported not taking anti-malarials during their travels to countries where the disease is endemic."
For more information on malaria visit hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Malaria/
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