Leaders lament high prevalence of malaria in Siaya County


Mosquito net

Negative attitude towards the use of mosquito nets has been blamed for the high prevalence of Malaria infections in Siaya County, which is now at 42 percent.

Speaking during the health workers award celebrations in Kogello on Sunday, county health officials said that due to support by health workers, the number of malaria patients attended to at Siaya County referral hospital in a year has reduced from 15,000 in 2011 to about 1500 this year.

However, according to Siaya County Malaria Control Coordinator Peter Omoth, only 38 percent of the residents have embraced the use of mosquito nets in the region, leading to an increase in the prevalence rate.

“Every year, Siaya County has been reporting the highest malaria prevalence rate in the country currently standing at 42 percent,” said Mr Omoth.

Omoth regretted that some families had resorted to using the nets for fishing and covering their kitchen gardens, and advised the residents to use the nets properly to avoid infant and maternal deaths that are sometimes caused by malaria.

On the other hand, community health workers in the region were applauded for their tremendous fight against malaria across the county.

Meanwhile, the director of Malaria Control Elimination Partnership in Africa Samuel Onditi disclosed that there were plans to sensitize the community at the grassroots level on Malaria in order to reduce the prevalence in the future.

Onditi expressed optimism that they were not only going to control malaria but also eliminate the disease in Siaya County.

“The leadership of the Ministry of Health and the county government should demonstrate that together they can eliminate malaria,” he said.

Siaya County Chief Officer of Health Dorothy Owino who graced the occasion, challenged the medical personnel in the county to take advantage of the reduced workload in health facilities to improve healthcare services.

The most hard working health workers were awarded trophies and cheques.

 ByLilian Osiema / Writtern by Jemimah Gathoni

 

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