Consultant Medical Parasitologist, Prof. Wellington Oyibo, has called on pregnant women to always consult medical doctors before they want to take anti-malaria medicines.
Oyibo of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, said the call was imperative so as to prevent birth defects.
According to him, there are certain drugs a woman in pregnancy should not take on her own decision.
“That is why when a woman is pregnant and in her first trimester, she needs to focus on antenatal care visit and follow the recommended pregnancy management practices.
“Early antenatal bookings will help every pregnant woman; at the clinic, she would be advised on all the things that she needs to do.
“Early booking is important for every pregnant woman irrespective of how many births she has undergone.
“There, she would meet with experienced doctors and nurses that would guide and instruct her on when, how and what anti-malaria medicines to take and at the right time,” Oyibo said.
The medical parasitologist also said that when a woman becomes pregnant, her immunity reduces then the parasite would have a knack to go to the placenta.
Oyibo, also a Principal Investigator at the African Networks for Drug and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI), an International Centre for Malaria Microscopy and Malaria Rapid Diagnosis Tests Quality Assurance Centre, said malaria in pregnancy was asymptomatic.
He said the sickness would not show any sign in a pregnant woman but the parasite would penetrate the placenta and affect the growth and development of the child.
He advised women to be cautious about malaria and its effects, saying that malaria can be scary that what they may have suffered might not be caused by other things other than by malaria.