Last Updated on: 15th November 2023, 01:17 pm
Adjumani | Malaria has continued to be the lead killer in Adjumani district despite the government’s intervention of the indoor residual spraying (IRS) and distribution of mosquito nets that are still ongoing.
Although the district recorded a slight decline in the number of deaths, it still remains the leading killer. In the last financial year, it claimed 64 people, followed by Pneumonia that killed 56, septicemia 31 and liver cirrhosis claimed 20 lives.
According to Mr Henry Lulu, the assistant district health officer of Adjumani, the number of deaths recorded from malaria reduced from 33% in the financial year 2021/2022 to 23% in the financial year 2022/2023.
Lulu further stated that the number of OPD attendances also reduced from 58.3% in 2021/2022 to 53% in 2022/2023.
“We are starting the second phase of the Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) this month, we are calling upon the communities to embrace the exercise because malaria has continued to pose more threats to us, it is killing more than any other disease, the district leadership is up in arms to confront malaria,” Lulu said.
He added: “We have received enough doses for the Indoor Residual Spraying that will cover all the people of Adjumani including the refugee population. Let us support this exercise in order to stop our babies and mothers from dying of malaria.”
Mr Robert Dragule, the Medical Vector Control Officer of Adjumani revealed that the district, in the last financial year recorded 19 cases of children under the age of 5 years who perished from malaria.
Dragule observed that the positivity rate of malaria is standing at 40%, adding that several attempts including the IRS are being implemented including malaria entomological surveillance.
“We have reduced the number of deaths among children under 5 years from 23 to 19, we also maintained admissions due to malaria at 38%, but we still think that this number is high. We want to reduce it to zero death that is why we are spraying,” Dragule noted.
Ms Samia Basiri, a refugee from Baratuku refugee settlement in Adjumani district who brought her 1 year three-month baby for treatment on Monday this week said even after diagnosing her daughter she was advised to buy some of the medicines for treating her baby.
“I was told to buy quinine and cannula, I have spent shs5000 just for today, life is not easy for us, I am wondering if I will finish the dose,” Samia said.
Sr Alice Atayi, a nurse who was on duty, said immediately after the Indoor residual exercise last year, admission for malaria has reduced.
“Right now with the heavy rains we are witnessing an increase in cases of malaria, from July to October, we registered more than 700 admissions for malaria,” Atayi stated.
She advised that some of the cases of death registered last financial year could have been avoided if the cases were not delayed.
”Late referrals, self-medication cases have ended up dying, if the community can desist from self-medication and refer the cases early, some of the lives could have been saved” she added.
According to the Ministry of Health, the total number of deaths reported from health facilities has reduced by 6 per cent, from 56,878 in the 2021/2022 financial year to 53,222 deaths in the 2022/2023 financial year.
Uganda first implemented the IRS in Kigezi in the ’60s and early ’70s in an attempt to eliminate malaria. It was reintroduced in Kigezi again in 2006, moved to Acholi and parts of Lango in 2009, and later to eastern Uganda in 2014.
Globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2022, 600,000 people still die annually of malaria, the majority being children.