KNA Health facilities in Kisumu County have been recording high number of malaria cases in the last three months translating to 25 – 30 percent of the total number of hospital admissions within the same period.
The County Malaria Control Coordinator Dr Lilyana Dayo revealed that the surging trend of malaria patients was experienced from April, May, and June this year.
She noted that this is mainly because of the rising water levels in Lake Victoria, since flood prone areas near the lake have been mostly affected.
“Water bodies are a breeding site for mosquitos hence regions near the lake like Seme and Nyando Sub Counties are facing a higher rate of malaria infections,” said Dayo.
According to the Coordinator, pregnant women and children below the age of five years are the most vulnerable to malaria infections because of their weak immune system.
As a way of reducing the infections of the deadly disease, pregnant women and mothers with children below one year are being given treated mosquito nets whenever they visit the health centres.
The county distributed over 700,000 treated mosquito nets between April and May, which helped in the fight against malaria. The programme reached over 1.3 million residents.
She added that the use of rapid test kits facilitates accurate diagnosis and admission of Antimalarial drugs to patients.
These coupled with sensitisation of expectant women through health talks whenever they visit the clinic for health services have immensely aided in curbing the scourge.
Organised accounting system and proper documentation of the number of nets brought in and received in the hospitals has helped fight malpractices like stealing of mosquito nets and accounting for the numbers distributed.
“Previously some rogue health workers have stolen these nets, however, with the new accounting system and proper documentation it will be a thing of the past,” she assured.
Joint efforts with the national government have led to embracing of innovation and technology in the fight through the use of drones to spray breeding sites with insecticides especially along the lake side areas where the mosquito larva develop.
“To effectively combat malaria we must start at the breeding sites where mosquitos thrive and as such, we need to spread awareness of the role of larviciding in the fight against malaria,” said Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe during the launch of Great Lakes Malaria Initiative that happened in last month.
Dayo appealed to residents to go for malaria testing at an early stage and that they should not wait until the signs are severe because it is curable.