County Launches Malaria Campaign
Narok County records over 28, 000 cases of malaria every year translating to a prevalence rate of 11.2 percent, Narok County Director of Health (MOH) Dr. Francis Kiio has said.
Speaking during a health stakeholders’ meeting held at a Narok hotel , Dr. Kiio said malaria was the fifth killer disease in the County after diarrhea and pneumonia among others and called on all stakeholders to work together in combating it.
The medic said some of the worst affected areas in the County included Ongata Barakoi, Marura, Ngararu and Lolgorian areas in Transmara West Sub County.
Dr. Kiio attributed the increase in malaria cases in the said areas to their proximity to the areas in upper Nyanza particularly Migori County and highlands such as Kisii where malaria was endemic.
The meeting aimed to plan for the coming World Malaria Day whose national event would be celebrated in Narok on April 25.
Ms. Jacinta Opondo from the National Malaria Control Council said Narok was chosen to host the national event this year due to increasing malaria prevalence.
The theme for this year`s celebration will be, “End Malaria Now” and in Swahili, the rallying call is; Pamoja tuangamize Malaria, (together let us end malaria).
Dr. Kiio said early diagnosis and prevention could help reduce malaria related deaths in the County especially among expectant mothers and children under five years.
He said cases of malaria were expected to go up due to the ongoing rains and called for concerted efforts in combating the scourge which was among the top 10 killer diseases in the country.
“Cases of malaria are usually reported two weeks after the beginning of rains and we have already started seeing an increase in cases being reported,” Kiio said.
During the campaign ahead of the national event, health workers in the County would supply treated nets to the public especially expectant mothers and the under- fives whom the medic said were the most vulnerable.
He said the aim of supplying the long lasting treated nets is to reduce malaria infections in the area and in the long run promote a malaria free society.
The nets have been treated with a chemical that remains active for many years and does not lose its strength even when the net is washed.
Dr. Kiio said the campaign would also be carried out through media talk shows, road shows and barazas among other channels.
The health workers with the help of the public would also carry out spraying and draining of stagnant waters and clearing of bushes.
The County Executive Committee (CEC) member in charge of Health Mrs. Vivian Sereti-Mpetti who was also present called on well-wishers to come up and support this worthy cause.
Kenya is making major efforts to reduce and eliminate malaria. The objectives of combating the disease were also linked to most of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, Millennium Development Goals as well as Kenya’s Vision 2030.
The Ministry of Health, through the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), has implemented various policies in the fight against the disease.
They include the provision of long-lasting insecticidal nets, sporadic preventive treatment for pregnant women, and speedy diagnosis and effective treatment of all malaria cases.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku