Southwark’s top doc says get a Malaria jab if you’re going somewhere tropical for winter sun

News Desk (16 November, 2017)

Dr Jonty Heaversedge is chair of the Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group

9292Dr Jonty Heaversedge

If you are planning a trip in the next four to six weeks to a country where malaria is found, you should seek advice now on malaria prevention treatment.

Malaria can be very serious and is found in many African countries, as well as Southern Asia, Central America and South America.

There is no vaccination against malaria, so it’s very important to take anti malarial medicines. These reduce your risk of getting malaria by about 90%. They should be taken before you travel, while you are away and for up to four weeks after you come back.

You catch malaria from mosquitoes so you should also protect yourself from bites by sleeping under nets, keeping skin covered and using insect repellent.

You will not be immune to malaria if you have previously visited or lived in the country you plan to visit. You need to protect yourself every time you visit a country where there is malaria.

There are many different types of anti malarial medicines. In Southwark, they are available either over the counter from a pharmacist or through private prescription from a GP. Anti malarial medicines are not available on NHS prescription, but your GP can advise you on what medicine would be best for you and what the side effects may be. They can then give you a private prescription if required, so you can get your medicines from a pharmacy.

The NHS recommends that you get your medicines in the UK before you travel, as medicines abroad may be fake or sub-standard.

If you get ill while you are away, get medical advice straight away. It is important that malaria is diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

For further information, visit the NHS Southwark CCG website at www.southwarkccg.nhs.uk/your health/yourmedicines/antimalarialmedicines or NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk.

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