Malaria circumstances, deaths on the rise

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Mosquitoes, which spread malaria, made up 42 percent of hospital admissions. File photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT Malaria cases and deaths are rising, according to the annual health sector performance review report for 2019/2020.

The reports show that the disease was the main reason people sought care in hospitals.

According to the Ministry of Health, the malaria prevalence in the country has increased since last year and is now 15 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 8.3 in 2018/19.

Figures also show that the disease was the leading cause of hospital admissions at 42 percent and pneumonia at 11 percent in children under the age of five. In children and adults over the age of five, malaria made up 30 percent of all recordings.

The disease also accounted for 27 percent of all deaths recorded per 100,000 people hospitalized. In 2018/2019, the disease accounted for 15 percent of deaths per 100,000 people.

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, director general of the Department of Health, says the high number of malaria-related deaths and admissions is worrying and urgent action is needed.

Mwebesa also says that in cases, the surge could have been caused by heavy rainfall, which resulted in many stagnant pools of water ideal for mosquito growth.

Uganda carried out its last mass distribution of mosquito nets in 2017. According to the Ministry of Health, the high number of registered malaria cases in the country could be due to a loophole in malaria protection policy.

Despite the surge in cases, Dr. Jimmy Opigo that hopefully the cases will be reduced in the next year. “This year we hope to see a reduction in malaria cases and even deaths from the ongoing mosquito net distribution. We have distributed over 15 million networks which will reduce the number, ”said Opigo.

Other conditions that took people to the hospital included cough and cold or flu, pneumonia, and injuries from accidents.

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