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Untreated malaria may lead to mental disorder – expert

Mr Tobias John, a public health expert, on Friday warned that malaria might lead to Common Mental Disorders (CMDs) if left untreated.

John, who is the Northeast Zonal Coordinator of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe.

He said that the warning was imperative in view of the dearth of proper awareness about malaria and the different health complications that untreated malaria could lead to. He said that malaria was sensitive to human health in view of the series of health complications that were related to the disease and its tendency to weaken human immune system within a short time.

John said if those suffering from malaria knew the implication of the disease on human health, “they will not hesitate to treat the disease; malaria is a life-threatening disease which can lead to brain damage and seizure when it results to anaemia or blood shortage which affects the functionality of the brain.

“Malaria cause common mental disorder which is associated with improper flow of blood into the brain and when your blood level is low, it cannot move the quantum that is required to the brain for normal functionality, ten you know that definitely your coordination will be affected and the brain can begin to react in the opposite direction or in diverse means.

“Once you get to that level be rest assured that it has become complicated and such a person may begin to speak out of point, lose coordination which result to common mental disorder.’’

The NACA coordinator said that malaria was an entry ailment to many other ailments, especially those associated with HIV, Tuberculosis and even COVID-19, hence the need to ensure proper prevention and treatment measures.

He advocated for quick-response approach to the treatment of malaria through proper testing before drug prescription, while cautioning against self-medication.