Malaria cases on the rise in Uganda

FILE PHOTO: A patient with malaria

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Ministry of Health has reported an increase in malaria cases in the country.

According to the Ministry of Health, there is a 50% increase in the number of people seeking treatment for the disease. The increase in cases is occurring in Busoga, Lango, Acholi, Tooro and West Nile regions.

The most affected districts are in the Busoga region and include; Namutumba, Kibuuku, Butaleja, Budaka, Butebo, Bugiri, Bugweri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Pallisa, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge and Namayingo. Another district with high cases is Tororo.

Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Margaret Muhanga, said surveillance reports show malaria cases and deaths in the regions have increased over the past eight months.

According to Muhanga, there has been an increase in the number of deaths occurring over the past two months. It is estimated that 15 people die of malaria every day.

According to Muhanga, many of the cases presented are anemic and had dark or bloody urine.

Ministry of Health figures show that 50% of reported malaria cases required blood transfusions.

The increase in malaria cases is attributed to a number of factors such as the early wear and tear of the insecticide used in indoor residual spraying.

“Early attenuation of the effect of the recently introduced Fludora Fusion insecticide for indoor spraying. The wall-protecting effect of the insecticide only lasts about four to six months instead of the expected seven to nine months as well demonstrated in field trials. As a result, the chemical does not cover both peaks of malaria transmission. The reason for this has yet to be established,” Muhanga added.

Other factors cited for the increase in cases and deaths include; poor use of mosquito nets and many people seeking treatment late.

As the epidemic rages, the Ministry of Health has disbursed a total of 1.2 billion shillings to support disease surveillance in the affected districts. In addition to this, the National Medical Stores has increased the number of malaria control and logistics supplies in the affected districts to limit stock-outs.

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