Do I need to take malaria pills for Mozambique?

Answered by Willian Lymon

It is highly recommended to take malaria pills when traveling to Mozambique. Malaria is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease that is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mozambique is considered a high-risk area for malaria, so taking preventive measures is crucial to protect your health during your trip.

There are several types of malaria medication available, and the specific medication you should take will depend on various factors such as your medical history, allergies, and the duration of your trip. It is important to consult with your doctor or a travel health specialist to determine the most suitable medication for you.

One commonly prescribed malaria medication is Atovaquone/Proguanil (brand name Malarone). This medication is taken once a day, starting one to two days before entering a malaria-endemic area, and continued daily throughout your stay in Mozambique. It is then taken for seven days after leaving the area. Malarone is generally well-tolerated, but some people may experience side effects such as nausea, headache, or stomach pain.

Another option is Doxycycline, an antibiotic that also has anti-malarial properties. Doxycycline is taken once a day, starting two days before entering a malaria area, and continued daily while in Mozambique. It should be continued for four weeks after leaving the area. However, it is important to note that Doxycycline can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so it is essential to take precautions and use sunscreen while taking this medication.

Additionally, there is also the option of taking Chloroquine, which is taken once a week. However, Chloroquine is not recommended for use in Mozambique due to high levels of resistance to this medication in the country.

It is important to follow the recommended dosage and duration of treatment for your chosen malaria medication to ensure its effectiveness. Remember that malaria can have serious health consequences, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

In addition to taking malaria medication, it is also crucial to take other preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites. These include using insect repellents containing DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, and sleeping under bed nets treated with insecticide.

Personal experience: During my trip to Mozambique, I consulted with my doctor before traveling and was prescribed Malarone as my malaria medication. I started taking it two days before my trip and continued throughout my stay and for a week after returning home. I did not experience any significant side effects and felt reassured knowing that I was protected against malaria during my time in Mozambique.