Well done on malaria, but . . .

22 Apr, 2022 - 00:04 0 Views
Well done on malaria, but . . .


RECENTLY gazetted statistics show that positive results are being recorded in the country when it comes to its fight against malaria, after a 70 percent drop in cases was recorded in 2021, compared to 2020.

However, there were still 133 134 malaria cases in 2021 and 12 percent of the cases were for children under five years.

Moreover, 122 malaria deaths were recorded in 2021. 

These are still a lot of malaria cases and deaths for the country to grapple with.

Statistics must be coming down towards zero and these thousands of cases must come down.

These figures make scary reading as having over 10 people dying every month from a disease that is both curable and preventable, is worrying.

That more than 130 000 people were treated for malaria last year is bad as it is a disease that is relatively easy to prevent.

We should not wait for winter to reduce malaria figures because this is a disease that we can all prevent.

Simple use of repellents during the day, for those that work on plantations or using mosquito nets, can prevent malaria and save hundreds of lives.

A lot has to be done to prevent the disease so that health institutions do not have to continue treating such a large number of cases.

It is also worrying to note that hundreds of the weekly cases are children under the age of five years.

This is clear evidence that parents are not educated enough to play a role in preventing their children from getting malaria, or sourcing early medical assistance, once the children show symptoms.

Malaria may be an age-old disease but there is still a need for awareness campaigns to educate people about the disease as far as treatment and prevention are concerned.

With over 130 000 cases reported last year, there is no reason why a robust awareness campaign on the disease – much like the Covid-19 one – should be carried out.

All this means the country still has a lot of work to do before we can celebrate victory over malaria and other diseases.

The Government, through the Health Ministry, has done a lot to reduce the malaria incidence in the country.

Our Government has helped through interventions such as spraying, use of insecticides and treated mosquito nets, but there is still some work to be done.

And, everyone has a role to play.

Malaria has serious economic impacts in Africa, slowing economic growth and development and perpetuating the vicious cycle of poverty.

The gains recorded are brilliant, but we can still do better.

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