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Sunday,July 12,2020 09:09 AM

Malaria prevalence rates drop by 10%

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 30th July 2019 09:00 AM

Opigo said Malaria by region, however, remains a big challenge especially in Karamoja where the prevalence is at 34%, adding that there is a need to continue mobilizing the communities to appreciate the already existing tools to combat the disease.

Malaria prevalence rates drop by 10%

The success has been attributed to the distribution of treated mosquito nets, early diagnosis, and treatment, among others. Photo/File

Opigo said Malaria by region, however, remains a big challenge especially in Karamoja where the prevalence is at 34%, adding that there is a need to continue mobilizing the communities to appreciate the already existing tools to combat the disease.

KAMPALA - The prevalence of Malaria in Uganda has dropped to 9% in 2018/2019, from 19% in 2014. The findings, revealed by Dr. Jimmy Opigo, who heads the National Malaria Control Program, are from a study completed recently.

This, he said has been possible through the distribution of treated mosquito nets, early diagnosis, and treatment, among others.

Opigo said Malaria by region, however, remains a big challenge especially in Karamoja where the prevalence is at 34%, adding that there is a need to continue mobilizing the communities to appreciate the already existing tools to combat the disease.

"We are burdened by Malaria because Uganda lies on the equator and mosquitoes proliferate in this kind of weather," he said.

He made these remarks during the opening of an insectary also known as Arthropod Containment level two insectary at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe on Monday.

An insectary is a place that keeps, raises and studies insects.

Scientists working with Target malaria, a not for profit research consortium working in collaboration with UVRI, have embarked on developing a new cost-effective and sustainable technology to reduce malaria transmission.

The new malaria control measure will involve genetically modified mosquitoes that do not reproduce or transmit malaria is in offing.

The technology, according to Dr. Jonathan Kayondo, the principal investigator, will target the actual species in Uganda, Anopheles Gambiae Sensu Lato (female mosquito).

The modified female anopheles' mosquitoes will not have the ability to reproduce or produce offspring, implying that after mating, they will be no next generation.

Explaining the partnership with Target malaria, Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu, the director UVRI said the institute's entomology mission is to carry out scientific investigations on insects involved in the transmission of arbo-viral and parasitic infections.

"We want to contribute to vector-borne disease burden reduction in Uganda through basic and applied research, with the aim of discovering research for novel vector targeted disease control tools," he said.

Malaria is a big challenge in the world with nearly 220 million infections globally leading to half a million deaths annually.

It is also the leading cause of child mortality in Africa where more than 90% of cases are detected.

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