3 reasons why you should test for malaria before treating

rapid malaria testing

Early and accurate diagnosis of malaria is important for both rapid and effective treatment of the disease. It is recommended that high-quality malaria diagnosis be done every single time malaria is suspected and before treatment is given.

The Nigerian government has set a target that by 2020, 100% of malaria cases be tested before treatment is given. Currently only 40% of cases or 2 out of every 5 cases are tested before treatment.

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The last time you took malaria treatment did you have a malaria test before it?
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Here are 3 reasons why you should always test before treating for malaria.

Misdiagnosis

Treating for malaria when another disease is the cause of your sickness can result in you getting even sicker or even dying. In one instance, a patient kept treating malaria for months only to later find out that the cause of his fever and illness was cancer not malaria. Testing means if it’s not malaria, another cause of your illness can be tested for, found early and treated. Don’t take the chances, test first

Drug resistance

Using malaria drugs anyhow can lead to drug resistance. The formerly popular drug chloroquine now doesn’t work for malaria anymore because we used it anyhow. Remember years ago how at the slightest sign of illness, everyone reached for chloroquine? Now chloroquine is not recommended for malaria as the parasite is now resistant. We now have very good treatment in the form of Artesunate Combination Therapy (ACT). It works very well, with almost no resistance. It’s best to reserve this for only confirmed malaria cases. Imagine if these ACT suffers the same fate as chloroquine, we will be in serious trouble with no way to cure malaria. Test first and confirm malaria before increasing the risk of drug resistance.

Drug side effects

Antimalarial drugs have side effects. These can be very difficult and distressing. Many illnesses we think are malaria are only viral illness that usually get better on their own with time. Instead of the short time of suffering from this viral illness, taking unneeded drugs can prolong the duration of your sickness. Symptoms like stomach pain, nausea and vomiting are only some of the many side effects these drugs can give you. Avoid unnecessary drug side effects by confirming malaria with a test first.

Read our post on antimalarial side effects to learn more

Conclusion

Be on the safe side when you feel sick and think it’s malaria. Always test before you take an anti-malarial drug. Your body will thank you for it.

You can now get convenient malaria testing at treatment done instantly at a location near you. Just visit the Wellahealth website or book via whatsapp below.

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