Uganda responsible for 70% of the world’s malaria cases 

In pregnant women, malaria causes anaemia and low birth weight in infants. 

By Milton Emmy Akwam

Oyam – Sept. 19, 2022: A 2019 research conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that Uganda is responsible for over 70 per cent of the world’s malaria cases.

According to the same research, malaria is responsible for 30 to 50 per cent of the recorded outpatient (OP) visits across the country.

In the same period, 5 percent of deaths were recorded at different health facilities. 

The Ministry of Health’s official communication says malaria is “preventable and curable”. Those suspected to have been infected with it are urged to visit any health facility within 24 hours.

“It affects 30 percent of children under 5 years, making it a leading cause of morbidity. In schools, malaria is the leading cause of absenteeism, poor performance and school dropout,” added the ministry.

In pregnant women, malaria causes anaemia and low birth weight in infants. 

In August 2022, the government came out with a plan to vaccinate children against malaria. State Minister for Health Margaret Muhanga told Parliament in August that failure to vaccinate children would mean allowing “this killer disease”.

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She also revealed that Uganda lost about 24 children to malaria in the month of June 2022. “A vaccine has been manufactured to control malaria in children and the government is working with other governments abroad that are producing the vaccine.”

Malaria trends 

WHO, in its World Malaria Report 2021(regional data and trends), indicated that in 2020, six countries in sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 55% of all malaria cases globally.

Nigeria recorded 26.8%, the Democratic Republic of the Congo 12.0%, Uganda 5.4%, Mozambique 4.2%, Angola 3.4% and Burkina Faso 3.4%.

The global health body also noted that four countries accounted for just over half of all malaria deaths globally. The countries are Nigeria 31.9%, DRC 13.2%, the United Republic of Tanzania 4.1% and Mozambique 3.8%.

“The region as a whole missed the GTS 2020 milestones for reductions in case incidence and mortality by 38% and 40%, respectively.”

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