Moving Mountains at the University of Bristol

© 2017 Moving Mountains Trust. Registered as a charity under reference NIC100742 with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. 

Nepal: Malaria - bite avoidance and prophylactic medication

You may need anti-malaria tablets for your trip to Nepal, for example if you are travelling overland from India, through South Nepal. Malaria prophylactic medication is not usually advised to be needed in Kathmandu or in the villages you'll be travelling to with Moving Mountains; there is no significant malaria problem in these areas. However, please take advice from a travel nurse at your General Practice or a specialised travel clinic regarding taking anti-malarial medication in Nepal, any existing medical conditions you have or the type of tablets you will need, should you need tablets for independent travel.

 

This link will take you to the malarial map for Nepal. Click here for a google maps link to the area in which Bumburi and Bupsa are located. This can help to advise medical professionals regarding their location. You will also be travelling to Kathmandu on your trip with Moving Mountains.

 

As you can see, the villages and Kathmandu are in a low to no risk malarial zone, where anti-malarial medication is not usually advised.

Malaria is spread primarily by bites from Anopheles mosquitoes and is characterized by fever and influenza-like symptoms, including chills, headache, muscle pain, and malaise; these symptoms can occur at intervals. Further serious medical complications are a possibility.

One primary action therefore is to minimise the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. Bites are most often sustained between dusk and dawn and in areas with low wind speeds and the presence of water. Specific measures that you can take to reduce the risks of being bitten include:-

  • Between dusk & Dawn remain in well-screened areas

  • Using mosquito bed nets treated with insecticide such as Permethrin

  • Wearing clothes that cover most of the body

  • Use repellent on exposed skin such as 50% DEET

No vaccine is currently available and no method can protect completely against the risk for contracting malaria. There are a number of anti-malarial medications that can be used, advice on which one is most suitable for you must be sought from a medical practitioner with access to your own medical history. Many factors can affect which medicine is most appropriate to you personally including:-

  • where you are going

  • medical history, including any drug allergies

  • relevant family medical history

  • current medicines

  • any problems with antimalarial medicines in the past

  • your age

  • whether you are pregnant