Press Release 19th October 2013


Malaria: still costing lives in the UK and killing an African child every 30 seconds


More than 1000 people in the UK were infected with a deadly form of malaria after travelling to the tropics in 2012, according to a recent Public Health England report. Overall there were more than 1300 cases of which 72% were infected with the potentially fatal strain, falciparum malaria. Malaria does not discriminate and shows no respect for social status. Cheryl Cole, the singer, was famously afflicted following a holiday in Tanzania. Genghis Khan, the Mogul emperor, was thought to have contracted malaria while nursing battle injuries in the 13th century.


Despite this, the number of cases of imported malaria has fallen from 1722 cases 10 years ago. The number of fatal cases has also fallen significantly from 16 deaths in 2003 to just 2 people succumbing to the illness in 2012.


The heaviest burden of malaria is in sub-Saharan Africa where 90% of the 1 million deaths occur annually, most of these being children. Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds.


Though the number of cases imported to the UK has decreased, the number of potential cases could significantly increase as the World Tourism Organisation predicts the number of tourists to Africa is expected to more than double from about 50 million per year to 134 million by 2030.


Malaria is a parasite transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes in tropical countries. Although falciparum malaria can kill, travellers can take simple measures to avoid mosquito bites. Applying DEET containing insect repellents and sleeping under mosquito nets can dramatically reduce the risk of acquiring malaria. Appropriate antimalarial prevention tablets can also stop you from getting malaria if you do get bitten.


Travel Klinix, a new travel health service based in Cheylesmore, Coventry is able to provide expert travel advice for those travelling to countries with malaria. They can also provide antimalarial prophylaxis, insect repellents and mosquito nets. They provide a comprehensive service so that you will also have the opportunity to purchase any other relevant vaccinations that you may need for your proposed country of travel.


Dr Ravi Gowda, medical director of Travel Klinix is a consultant in infectious diseases at the University Hospital in Coventry. He states, 'this is the first fully independent travel clinic in Coventry and Warwickshire offering a genuinely alternative choice for patients who usually see their GP. We are able to see patients at short notice, evenings and even at weekends. It is also unique in that we can provide a tailored, bespoke service for patients with complex medical problems such as patients who have depressed immune systems e.g. after chemotherapy for cancer and HIV infection. We are also able to provide a specialist consultation service for those who return until after travelling, again a first for Coventry and Warwickshire.'


Travel Klinix is formally opening on the 26th of October. Travellers interested in their service can visit their website for more information or alternatively they can ring (024) 7601 6519.