By Waiswa Wafula
The world marked Malaria Day on Sunday with statistics showing that the disease is responsible for 20,000 deaths in the country every year and 400,000 across the world.
Kericho County has stepped up in the fight against malaria especially among pregnant women deemed to be a high risk group. Mr. Richard Siele, the county Malaria Control Coordinator revealed that pregnant women will receive free mosquito nets during their prenatal clinic visits.
“Pregnant mothers, children under the age of five, elderly population over the age of 70 and people with compromised immunity are at high risk of malaria infections,” said Mr Siele during a interview with KNA.
Mr siele acknowledged a significant drop in Malaria cases in Kericho County over the last few years. He attributed the drop to the interventions and strategies employed by the county government such as prompt and effective malaria commodities such as drugs and lab test kits. He also added that the clearing of the environment and drained stagnant water greatly contributed.
“In the last one year, the test positivity rate has been 14 per cent down from 18 per cent, while the prevalence was at 3 per cent,” said Mr Siele.
He urged the public to be vigilant for any symptoms associated with Malaria and seek medical advice as soon as possible. He emphasized on the availability of medication which includes Artemisia based combination therapy (ACT) Plus Artemether Lumefantire (AL) which is the recommended first line treatment for uncomplicated Malaria except for pregnant women.
“Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, profuse sweating, muscle pains, joint pains, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, irritability, and lack of appetite,” said Mr Siele.
Eradication of malaria remains high among the priorities of Kericho County with a strong commitment from the county leadership explained Mr. Siele. Although they did not observe the day with an event as in previous years due to the COVID protocols, this year’s Malaria Day theme was “Zero-Malaria – Draw the line against Malaria.”
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