Sickle Cell Disease and Malaria

Malaria is an infection caused by parasites that are carried by mosquitoes. Sickle cell patients can easily have the infection. These parasites destroy the blood cells and reduce the amount of blood in an individual(anaemia). This reduction is dangerous in an individual with Sickle Cell Disease(SCD).

Individuals living with SCD experience increased susceptibility to severe infections, including malaria. Due to impaired splenic function, individuals living with SCD have an increased risk of malaria. Infection with Plasmodium falciparum(species of parasite that causes malaria in humans) in individuals living with SCD can trigger a painful vaso-occlusive crisis, increase the severity of anemia, and contribute to early childhood mortality.

PREVENTION OF MALARIA

  • Sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets at night
  • Net your house windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out
  • Keep your environment clean, to avoid breeding mosquitoes
  • Use mosquito repellant on skin