Today's reader question is on a medical topic. If any of you are medical personnel, we would especially love to hear from you! But let's all chime into this discussion with the understanding that we are sharing our own experiences and choices, not giving medical advice!

Question:

What do other people do for malaria prophylaxis, especially for their children?

My Answer:

We have been told by a doctor that since we are long-term residents of Africa, we should not use prophylaxis but rather allow our bodies to build up a natural resistance to malaria. Another doctor was shocked by this advice and instructed us to be on prophylaxis at all times. We have chosen a 'happy medium' that has worked well for our family. Our babies begin taking prophylaxis when I begin to wean them at 12-15 months old. Our whole family stops taking prophylaxis for a few months in the height of dry season, when the mosquito population is significantly decreased. Of course we take as many other precautions as possible, especially not spending a lot of time outside in the evenings.

We use proguanil, brand name Paludrine, which has few or no side effects and is reasonably priced. It is safe for pregnancy and children. I also recommend Malarone (combo of proguanil and atovaquone), which is more effective than proguanil alone, but also significantly more costly.

**Please be sure to do research or ask a medical professional IN YOUR AREA OF SERVICE. Many regions have developed resistance to certain medications, so not all drugs are effective in all parts of the world.**

What have you done for malaria prevention? Do any of you have natural remedies that have worked for your family?

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