Malaria deaths on the rise- WHO report

Dec 23, 2016

However, the Health Ministry’s Acting Director General, Prof.Anthony Mbonye attributed the ugly statistic to an outbreak that occurred during the period in review (2014-2015).

Despite Uganda's aggressive campaigns towards control and prevention of malaria over the years, the 2016 World Malaria Report shows that the number of people dying of the largely curable condition went up by a total of 179 people in the just one year from 5,921 in 2014 to 6100 in 2015.

The World Health Organisation report that was released early this week also shows that the country had the biggest share of malaria cases in the region at 18% compared to Tanzania (11%), Rwanda (8%) and Kenya (14%).

However, the Health Ministry's Acting Director General, Prof.Anthony Mbonye attributed the ugly statistic to an outbreak that occurred during the period in review (2014-2015).

Last year according to Mbonye, the country experienced malaria outbreaks in at least 10 districts in northern Uganda and two others in the south western region (Kabale and Kanungu).

The condition he said has since been contained and the general performance especially in 2016 shows a decline in the incidence of malaria.

Ministry of Health statistics indicate that malaria incidence in children less than five years reduced from 42% in 2009 to the current 19%. In areas such as Kampala, the incidence has since been brought down to almost 1%.

Mbonye stressed that the major challenge that needs to be addressed is sustainability of the gains at the community level. This according to him takes both personal initiatives towards prevention.

Since 2015, Uganda has distributed a total of 25.3million insecticide treated mosquito nets. According to the Malaria Indicator Survey (2014-2015) up to 90% of households have at least one insecticide treated mosquito net.

However, in an earlier interview with Dr Myers Lugemwa of the National Malaria Control Programme(NMCP) argued that the biggest challenge remains on attitude change especially on the proper use of mosquito nets.

He has also put up a case for the controversial Internal Residual Spraying saying arguing that other than relying on an individual's adherence to the use of mosquito nets, getting rid of the malaria parasites would have a higher impact in the fight against malaria.

In general, the report indicates an a growing decline in malaria related case in the region(East and Southern Africa) with an estimated malaria case incidence decreasing by 22% between 2010 and 2015. Death as a result of malaria also reduced by a similar percentage (22%) in the same period.

Though most countries in sub Saharan Africa heavily rely on donor funding for malaria interventions, this saw a decrease from US$ 156m to US$ 150m between 2010 and 2015.

Malaria according to the NMCP records is still a major public health challenge with hospital records showing that it's responsible for 30 to 50% of outpatient visits, 15 to 20% of admissions, and 9 to 14 % of inpatient deaths.

Side bar

Malaria prevention

Sleep under an insecticide treated mosquito net

Keep your surrounding free of mosquito breeding places such as bushes, dirty water

Prompt referral for any suspected case of malaria.

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