Malaria is a widespread, parasite-borne, infectious disease that poses a significant healthcare burden, especially in the developing nations. The latest report by the World Health Organization (WHO) depicts a rise in malaria cases and the associated mortality rate in 2021 compared to the previous year.
Malaria can be mild to severe, and may even precipitate multi-organ dysfunction, including acute kidney injury (AKI). AKI – caused by acute tubular necrosis, impairs renal function, damages the kidneys, and can lead to immune dysregulation, inflammation, and other physical and mental morbidities. Such complications are more prevalent in adults than in children with severe malaria. Other mild complications of the infection include – anaemia, diarrhoea, and jaundice.
Seeking professional medical help and regular check-ups can help in early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria and its complications. Individuals with kidney problems who contract malaria are prone to spleen rupture and anaemia. Therefore, referral of patients with renal function impairment to specialists (nephrologists) it is essential to manage these complications and improve prognosis.
In the Indian context, patient education and awareness regarding malaria and its complications, particularly AKI, are warranted. Therefore, regular screenings in vulnerable populations should be mandated for prompt diagnosis and early management of complications. Prioritizing health and taking precautions can help prevent malaria spread and reduce its impact on individuals and communities.
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