Malaria kills - but it is preventable
What is malaria?
Malaria is a serious infectious disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Some Lewisham residents who have visited countries with a risk of malaria have returned home with malaria.
There is no natural protection from malaria regardless of your family background or where you have been living previously. Malaria affects all ages and ethnicities, however children are more at risk of malaria illness, infection and death.
Watch our film to find out why you need to protect yourself and your family against malaria
How can I protect myself against malaria?
Everyone needs to take precautions to avoid getting malaria.
- Awareness of the risk
- Bite avoidance measures
- Malaria prevention medicines
You can get travel advice and malaria prevention medication from your local pharmacy or GP surgery.
You can protect yourself against malaria, and you must do so every time you visit a country with malaria. This is very important! Even if you grew up or lived there and are now returning to visit your friends and family you still need malaria prevention medicine.
As well as malaria prevention medication you should also take steps to avoid mosquito bites e.g. using bed nets and deet spray or other repellents.
Travel vaccination directory
If you are travelling abroad and need to take malaria prevention medicine or other vaccines, You should plan for this well in advance. Most vaccines and travel medicines will need to be started weeks and sometimes months before you travel for adequate protection. Please note that not all travel medicines and vaccines are free through the NHS. You can download the Lewisham travel directory here to find out where you can book an appointment to get your vaccines or malaria prevention tablets. If you are unsure what vaccines you need, please speak to your local pharmacist.
Lewisham Travel Health Advice: Frequently Asked Questions
You can download our Lewisham travel advice which has more information on travel vaccines as well as travelling with medicines.
Malaria in Lewisham
Lewisham is the second highest area with malaria cases in south London
80% of all the malaria cases in Lewisham contracted malaria while visiting friends and family abroad.
80% of malaria in travellers occurs because they did not take malaria prevention medicines.
Where can I get information?
You can get advice on malaria prevention and general travel health advice from local pharmacies, your GP surgery and private health clinics.
You can also access travel advice from: Gov.uk foreign travel
What else do I need to think about?
- It is important that you plan for your trip abroad.
- Malaria prevention medicines should be taken before travelling, during a trip and for some time on your return.
- Always buy malaria prevention medicines from a reputable source in the UK before travel so that you can be sure that they are not fake or poor quality.
- If you are buying any medicines including malaria prevention medicines online, check the internet pharmacy is registered by visiting the General Pharmaceutical Council register.
- Even if you buy your own medication online, get advice from your local pharmacy or GP practice.
Please be aware that malaria prevention medicines are no longer available on NHS prescription.
You can download an information leaflet here.
Find out how Damiles survived malaria here