Expert Warns against Mental Disorder Caused By Malaria

Photo by Egor Kamelev

…Recommends proper testing before treatment

The Northeast Zonal Coordinator of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Tobias John, has cautioned that malaria is capable of causing Common Mental Disorders if not treated on time.

John raised this alarm on Friday in Gombe State, where he urged everyone not to neglect malaria.

According to John, malaria weakens the immune system of its victims and gives room for other ailments, especially those associated with HIV, Tuberculosis, and even COVID-19 to attack the carrier.

The public health expert said if those suffering from malaria knew the implication of the disease on human health they would not hesitate to treat the disease. 

He further described malaria as a life-threatening disease.

“Malaria can lead to brain damage and seizure when it results in anaemia or blood shortage which affects the functionality of the brain,” says John.

John also highlighted that malaria causes common mental disorders. “It is associated with improper flow of blood into the brain and when your blood level is low. 

“It cannot move the quantum that is required to the brain for normal functionality. Then you know that your coordination will be affected and the brain can begin to react in the opposite direction or diverse means.”

Accordingly, he hinted that once you get to that level, rest assured that it has become complicated and such a person may not be coherent anymore and lose coordination which results in a common mental disorder.

He, therefore, advocated for a quick-response approach to the treatment of malaria through proper testing before drug prescription. This is as he warned against self-medication.

The Northeast zonal coordinator said the approach most people take in the treatment of malaria without testing was not ideal, “there are five parasite species that cause malaria in humans.

“Malaria until it is diagnosed you may not be able to know which parasite is responsible and the specific malaria medication”.

He, however, recommended laboratory testing, identifying the plasmodium responsible. “That will guide the treatment options.

“Once that is done, it reduces the implications that come with malaria.”

John also appealed to newsmen and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Gombe to raise more awareness to help communities know the implications of untreated malaria and the need to get proper healthcare when sick of malaria.

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