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World Malaria day was on the 25th of April this year. The first World Malaria Day was four years ago and at that time it was estimated that a child died every 30 seconds from malaria. Over the past four years raising awareness of malaria and increasing support for malaria control intervention has seen a reduction in the death rate from over a million people dying annually down now to closer to 790,000 people according to the official World Malaria Day web site.
Unfortunately although the malaria cases are on the decrease worldwide they are increasing in UK citizens. New figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) on World Malaria Day show that malaria infections have increased by nearly 30% since 2008. Malaria is an almost completely preventable disease when precautions are taken, but the latest figures show that where the history of taking antimalarial medication was obtained, 85 per cent of cases (850 out of 997 with information available) had not taken precautions.
Over the last decade, around half of all cases of malaria reported in the UK have occurred in people who travelled to West Africa and India, mostly to visit family and friends. Four out of 10 cases in 2010 were among UK residents who had travelled to Nigeria or Ghana, the next highest incidence was for people.
visiting India. Malaria is spread by mosquito bites. Symptoms can develop within eight days, but the disease may stay inactive in the body for up to a year. Dr Jane Jones, head of HPA’s travel and migrant health section, said: “malaria is a potentially deadly disease but it is almost completely preventable. Anyone who is planning to travel to a tropical destination should always seek advice from their GP or travel health clinic before their trip. It is a myth that people who have had malaria will not get it again. Our advice is the same for all travellers-you must take anti-mosquito precautions and medication to keep safe”.
Should you be intending to travel to a tropical destination and you take medication or you have an existing medical condition, you must check with your GP or Consultant if they agree with your travel plans. For example if you have been treated for cancer you immune system could have been compromised by your treatment and therefore a country which does not have the same high hygiene standards as the UK may not be advisable, furthermore the type of treatment or medication you are on may mean that you are unable to take anti malaria medication, so again it would be unadvisable to visit a country where you may contract malaria.
Once you have the agreement of your treating doctor to travel to your desired destination the next thing is to make sure you purchase travel insurance for existing medical conditions. You must make sure you declare all you medical conditions to your travel insurance provider, failure to do so could mean that your claim is refused. Standard travel insurance policies are unlikely to cover existing medical conditions, so it is always worthwhile looking for a specialist pre existing medical conditions travel insurance provider like Insurancewith.
Insurancewith have specific travel insurance for cancer patients, for example lung cancer travel insurance, bowel cancer travel insurance and breast cancer travel insurance to name just a few. Full details of all the medical conditions travel insurance policies available are on the web site.
To get a pre-existing medical condition travel insurance quote, or for more information please click here or give our UK customer service centre a call on 0845 2 307 159.
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