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Health Ministry moots joint efforts to fight Malaria among EAC Member States


Health Ministry moots joint efforts to fight Malaria among EAC Member States

The Ministry of Health has proposed joint efforts in the fight against Malaria among East African Member States.

Anifa Kawooya Bangirana the State Minister for Health in Charge of General Duties, says that they are concerned about the high disease prevalence and concentration among border communities, which raises suspicions that the cases could be imported from the neighbouring countries of the regional bloc.

Hon Kawooya says that it is high time, the East African Community member states worked on joint campaigns that are concurrently implemented, such that they can collectively and decisively deal with the Malaria epidemics among their citizens.  

Kawooya explained that despite the various preventive measures the country has previously rolled out which include the distribution of free insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residue spraying, and mobilizing communities to regularly slash their compounds among other interventions, they continue grappling with high Malaria prevalence and related deaths, which requires some change of strategy.

Kawooya says the Ministry is engaged in high-level discussions with the stop malaria campaign implementing agencies and partners, to initiate a comprehensive regional campaign that can help address the problem. 

According to disease surveillance reports at the Ministry of Health, the country is recording an unprecedented increase in the number of patients reporting severe forms of Malaria, which is causing a daily average of at least 30 deaths.

Kawooya adds that the reports also indicate a sharp increase in the number of admissions at various health facilities; of which many patients are presenting with high resistance to the drugs prescribed to their conditions.

She says that the Ministry’s technical teams are closely studying that situation with intention of finding out the cause of apparent resistance to drugs among malaria patients. 

Dr Richard Kabanda, the Commissioner in charge of Health Promotion and Communications at the Ministry of Health recently said that they preferred to conduct scientific studies on the possible mutation of Malaria-causing parasites due to the persistent increase in the disease prevalence and resistance to drugs.  

According to the World Health Organization-WHO Malaria global index; the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Tanzania, which are direct neighbors of Uganda, are clustered among the countries with the highest disease burden. They account for 12.6 and 3.9 per cent respectively, of all global malaria deaths.

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