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Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites transmitted through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Five parasite species cause malaria in humans, and two of these species p.falciparum and p.vivax pose the highest threat.
In 2019, there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria worldwide and 409,000 deaths. Children aged under five years are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria.
Preventive measures include taking antimalarial medication before travelling and using insect repellent outdoors where mosquitoes may be present. Other effective methods include sleeping under a mosquito net at night and wearing long-sleeved clothing and trousers outdoors during peak biting times around dawn or dusk. Travellers must also return home promptly if they develop symptoms suggestive of malaria within three months of returning from their trip, as prompt diagnosis and treatment could save lives.
How to avoid malaria
If you're travelling to an area where malaria is found, get advice from our travel specialist through our travel health advice service before you go. It is best to do this at least 4 to 6 weeks before you travel, but you can still get advice at the last minute if you need to.
Our travel specialist will check the risk of malaria and the type of activities you will carry out to decide if antimalarial drugs are required. You may be prescribed antimalarial tablets to reduce the risk of malaria and told how to prevent mosquito bites.
To reduce your risk of getting malaria while abroad, you should:
Take any antimalarial medicine you're prescribed – you usually need to start taking it a few days or weeks before you go until a few weeks after you get back
Use insect repellent on your skin – make sure it's 50% DEET-based
Sleep under mosquito nets treated with insecticide
Wear long-sleeved clothing and trousers to cover your arms and legs in the evening, when mosquitos are most active
Who's most at risk?
It's crucial to get advice before you travel if you're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from malaria. This includes:
If you're pregnant
People aged over 65
If you have a weak immune system
If you have no spleen
You may be prescribed antimalarial medicine even if travelling to a low-risk area.
How this service works
Select your service option and book an appointment
Follow the link in your booking confirmation email to fill out the patient questionnaire (at least 12 hours before your appointment)
One of our travel specialists will review the completed questionnaire and contact you to discuss this
Visit the branch at the selected date and time to receive your treatment
Available service option
£30 per patient
During your consultation, our travel specialist will explain which antimalarial drugs are suitable for you and the pros and cons of each type and advise you on how to minimize your risk of mosquito bites and other appropriate precautions for your travel.
Prefer to book this service over the phone?
Call us on 0113 322 9984
Which malaria tablets do I need?
Which malaria tablets you can use depends primarily on where you travel. The malaria parasite in some parts of the world has developed a resistance to chloroquine. If you travel to any of these countries, you must take Malarone or doxycycline to be protected.
During your consultation, our travel specialist will tell you which antimalarials are suitable for the country or countries you’re travelling to. You can also check malaria advice for your destination by searching for the country name here.
Which tablets are best for you also depends on your medical history and your planned activities. Doxycycline can increase your sensitivity to sunlight and may therefore be less suitable if you’re likely to spend extended periods in the sun.
Suppose several types of malaria tablets are suitable for your itinerary. In that case, you can choose whichever you prefer – some travellers prefer to take tablets daily. In contrast, others find it easier to remember to take their medication if it’s taken weekly.
Antimalaria tablet prices
Price per tablet
Tablets required for two weeks trip
Malarone (supplied as generic)
Dependent on the weight of the child
Travel Pack - Paludrine & Avloclor
High risk areas for malaria
Malaria is widespread in certain parts of the world. It is found in tropical regions, including:
Large areas of Africa and Asia
Central and South America
Dominican Republic and Haiti
Parts of the Middle East
Some Pacific islands
In 2019, five countries accounted for nearly 51% of all malaria cases worldwide: Nigeria (27%), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (12%), Uganda (5%), Mozambique (4%) and Niger (3%).
Malaria is not found in the UK, and you cannot catch it from another person.
What our customers think
5 out of 5 stars
Vaccinations all given professionally plus lots of useful medical advice given for our holiday.
5 out of 5 stars
Offered me a blood pressure check which I happily accepted. Attended on the same day. Asked if it were possible to pay for a flu jab (I’m not eligible yet) and got that at the same time! Excellent!! Very polite and helpful.
5 out of 5 stars
Professional and conscientious staff. Mehwish did a great job syringing my ears, thanks 😊
5 out of 5 stars
I booked the ear syringing service at Midway Pharmacy in Morley through the online booking system. Really friendly and professional service from Sharon. I’m really grateful to be able to hear properly again. The treatment only took a few minutes and Sharon is clearly really well trained at what she does. Thank you again.
Frequently asked questions
What are the symptoms of malaria?
Malaria can be hard to spot, but symptoms include:
a high temperature, sweats and chills
headaches and feeling confused
feeling very tired and sleepy (especially in children)
feeling and being sick, tummy pain and diarrhoea
loss of appetite
yellow skin or whites of the eyes
a sore throat, cough and difficulty breathing
These symptoms usually appear between 7 and 18 days after an infected mosquito has bitten you. But sometimes you may not have symptoms for months after travel, and rarely years.
I have just returned from holiday and think I may have malaria. What should I do?
Ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111 if:
you have travelled to a country where malaria is found and have malaria symptoms
You should also tell anyone you travelled with to get help straight away.
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
Get medical advice quickly if you have malaria symptoms while you're travelling.
How do you treat malaria?
Malaria is an emergency and needs to be treated quickly. It's treated with antimalarial medicines. Some people will stay in the hospital to have specialist care and treatment.
Malaria can sometimes come back and will need to be treated again if this happens.
How much are antimalaria tablets?
Three antimalarial drugs are available: doxycycline, Malarone (generic and branded), and Lariam. The cost of these varies and starts from £0.68 per tablet.
Doxycycline: take one tablet per day from two days before you travel and continue for four weeks after your return.
Malarone: take one every day from two days before you travel and continue for seven days after your return.
Lariam: take one tablet once a week from 2-3 weeks before you travel and continue for four weeks after your return.
How do malaria tablets work?
Malaria is caused by a parasite which is transmitted via mosquito bites. Some malaria tablets work by stopping the parasite from multiplying in red blood cells meaning your immune system can fight the infection before you develop symptoms. Others work by preventing the parasite from developing in the liver, preventing the parasite from progressing to infect red blood cells and causing symptoms.
To be protected, you must take the complete course of tablets you have been prescribed. Malaria tablets only act on the parasite during specific stages of its lifecycle. If you stop taking your tablets too early, you may still develop malaria if you were infected abroad.
Is there a vaccine for malaria?
No, there is currently no vaccine for malaria. The only way to protect yourself against malaria is by taking antimalarial tablets before you travel to an area where malaria is present.
Are next-day appointments available?
Yes, you can get next-day appointments at all our branches. Contact our customer care team if you cannot find an available slot.
Where is this service available?
This service is available in our branches, which are commutable from anywhere in Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, York, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Barnsley, Hull, Doncaster, Ripon, Harrogate, Dewsbury, Keighley and Scarborough.
Next-day appointments are available at our branches.