Malaria cases shoot up across Uganda, says health ministry

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Jinja, Uganda | URN | The Ministry of Health has reported an increase in malaria cases across Uganda.

According to the health ministry, there is a 50 per cent increase in the number of persons seeking treatment for the disease. The increased cases are being experienced in the regions of Busoga, Lango, Acholi, Tooro, and West Nile regions.

The most affected districts are in Busoga region, and they include; Namutumba, Kibuuku, Butaleja, Budaka, Butebo, Bugiri, Bugweri, Buyende, Iganga, Jinja, Pallisa, Kaliro, Kamuli, Luuka, Mayuge and Namayingo. Another district with high cases is Tororo.

The Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Margaret Muhanga says surveillance reports show that malaria cases and deaths in the regions have increased in the last eight months.

According to Muhanga, there has been an increase in the number of deaths occurring in the last couple of months. An estimated 15 people succumb to malaria every day.

According to Muhanga, many of the malaria cases presented are anemic and had dark or bloody urine.

Figures from the health ministry show that 50 per cent of reported malaria cases needed blood transfusions.

The surge in malaria cases in Uganda is being attributed to a number of factors like the early wearing off of insecticide used during indoor residual spraying.

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“Early wearing off of the effect of the recently introduced insecticide Fludora Fusion for indoor spraying. The wall protective effect of the insecticide lasts only about four to six months instead of the anticipated seven to nine months as well demonstrated in field trials. As a result, the chemical doesn’t cover the two transmission peaks of malaria. The reason for this is yet to be established,” Muhanga added.

Other factors being cited for the increase in cases and deaths include; poor mosquito net use and many persons seeking treatment late.

As the epidemic rages on, the health ministry has disbursed a total of 1.2 billion shillings to support surveillance of the disease in the affected districts. In addition to this, the National Medical Stores (NMS) has increased the number of malaria supplies and logistics to affected districts to curb any stockouts.