Malaria outbreak below management in Kericho – Kenya Information Company

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Medical experts in Kericho County have accelerated efforts to manage and control the malaria outbreak that affected residents of Kusumek Village in Chemosot District of Bureti Subdistrict on Friday last week, with 39 people testing positive and admitted to Kapkatet and Litein Hospitals .

According to Richard Siele, the county’s malaria coordinator, 166 people were tested at a makeshift testing and treatment center set up at the Kusumek tea shopping mall, where doctors and nurses offered medical screening to residents.

Siele, who led the team, announced they managed to mitigate a nearby quarry believed to be the main breeding ground in the area by spraying high-spreading oil to control the rise in malaria infections.

“To date, about 23.5 percent of cases tested with rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have come back positive, but no new cases have been reported,” Siele added.

He also pointed out that the team dispatched to combat the spread found that the majority of those who tested positive were among the 30 households that had not received government-issued free bed nets in the last month.

“We have received over 200 long-lasting insecticide treated nets for distribution to homesteads that did not receive the last distribution in December. The deputy area manager and the village elders helped us to identify the individual households,” Siele said.

The county malaria coordinator said they asked the National Malaria Program (DNMP) department to promote goods such as RDTs kits and antimalarial drugs.

He also hinted that ahead of the onset of the long rains, his department was writing a proposal to support Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in the village of Kusumek in Chemosot District, saying it was an important exercise to forestall an impending upturn.

“The village of Kusumek is in focus because spraying indoor debris is a very expensive undertaking. This intervention is not used in outbreaks, as it is merely a prevention strategy,” says Siele.

As of December 2021, Kericho County distributed a total of 621,237 long-lived insecticidal nets (LLINs) to 198,614 homes in 2,649 villages across the county.

According to the World Health Organization, LLINs have played a key role in reducing the burden of malaria over the past decade.

LLINs are nets that have been factory treated with an insecticide incorporated into the mesh fabric, allowing the insecticide to last a minimum of 20 washes in standard laboratory tests and three years with recommended use in field conditions.

By Kibe Mburu

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