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Mozambique, Malaria, July & young children

Cape Town
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Mozambique, Malaria, July & young children

Considering a holiday on Barra Reef in July/August with the family, will have 1 year old twins, a 5 year old & 9 year old twins in tow - receiving conflicting information in terms of kids & malaria, medication etc. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks

3 replies to this topic
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
1 642 posts
1. Re: Mozambique, Malaria, July & young children

Malaria is spread by mosquitos first biting an infected person and then someone new, so the risk to be infected is linked to the other people in the area. In Mozambique, 42% of children who died younger than 5 years old, died of malaria so the prevalence there is really high (malaria actually is the most common cause of death in the country). The peak season for new infections is in November-December but as long as it's warm enough for the mosquitos to live and reproduce and you are somewhat close to the local communities, there's a real possibility to be infected. This is how I have understood it.

The locals don't use medication, of course, but all western people I met in Inhambane area used at least mosquito nets, repellants and/or protective clothing (unlike, say, in Kruger area). We stayed in Tofo, in December, which is different of course, and I always slept under the net, but I was bitten multiple times. We were, kids included, on Malarone, and no one had any side effects from it. I'd probably take meds there even in July and I feel that Kruger would be safe enough without meds so I'm not the most panicky about the issue. But, not a doctor, someone else might think differently.

Some info:

http://www.pmi.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/malaria-operational-plans/fy11/mozambique_mop-fy11.pdf?sfvrsn=6

http://www.afro.who.int/en/mozambique/country-programmes/disease-prevention-and-control/malaria.html

Edited: 9 years ago
Maputo, Mozambique
Destination Expert
for Mozambique
Level Contributor
1 298 posts
32 reviews
28 helpful votes
2. Re: Mozambique, Malaria, July & young children

Its really a question of choice. Your doctor will tell you not to go, he is obliged to as if you were to go, and someone were to get sick from malaria, he would then be liable.

Personally if you take the right precautions (long sleeved clothes at dusk, insect repellant ALWAYS, sleep under mosquito nets etc) the risks are quite low.

The problem is I'm not sure if one year olds can or should take preventative malaria medication. I travel with my small children to these areas all the time.

Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
1 642 posts
3. Re: Mozambique, Malaria, July & young children

https://www.medicines.org.uk/emcmobile/medicine/9745/spc

That is the British information on Malarone Paediatric, 11kg is the recommended minimum weight for the prevention of malaria. Docs will know more and can give better advice than me, but it looks like that combo is relatively safe and tested with kids. If you choose to use meds.

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