a VirtualTourist member
I will be moving to Sierra Leone for a year. My doctor has suggested I take primaquine as a preventative medication. I am somewhat reluctant to take anti-malarial medication for such a long period of time. In addition, I have come accross indications that chloroquine-resistant forms of malaria are present in Sierra Leone, which, if I have understood correctly, means that priamquine would be ineffective.
Does anyone have any advice to offer regarding long-term anti-malaria drugs?
I haven't been to Africa but I just came across your post while scanning the forum. You may want to research on malarone. Malarone is a relatively new treatment and is virtually free of side effects. It is licensed for use in stays of up to 28 days but there is now experience of it being taken safely for up to three months.
Mosquitoes, Malaria and Dengue Fever.
This is a question that appears quite a lot here on VT.
You will hear from people who never take any kind of medication.
You will hear from those who do.
May I suggest that you contact your own doctor or practice nurse and ask for their advice?
If they recommend that you use some form medication, get them to recommend the treatment.
You may find that some treatments you make you ill, if so, ask the doctor for an alternative.
“I will only be there 3 or 4 days, do I really need to take the medicine”
I does not matter, if it is an infected area, 3 or 4 minutes is all it takes to get Malaria.
True fact: - Malaria has killed more than half the people who have EVER lived.
My view is not to take anything for malaria at all - ever. Especially not long term. The only effective way to avoid malaria is prevention, avoid being bitten. Cover up at night, use repellnat sprays and creams and sleep under a net and if you get flu-like symptoms assume it is malaria and have yourself tested immediately. I am in a malaria area at least once a month so using medication would be madness in my case.
Here's the only rule: follow your doctor's directions. I took Malarone for my trip to Sierra Leone, based on her advise and the length of my stay there. A poster here stated one should take no medicine for malaria for a long stay. Just know that the kind of malaria that exists in Sub-Saharan West Africa is the most dangerous kind, and can kill you. Even covered 24/7 in serious deet repellant (also prescribed by my doctor for this trip), I was still bitten. You cannot avoid the little buggers either, so medicine and high-concentration deet repellant for your skin and repellant treatment for your clothes are your only rational choice.