“Malaria must be kicked out of Kasese” says health workers

By Joel Kaguta

Health workers in Kasese district are seriously on ground to sensitize the public on how to eliminate the spreading of malaria among the population.

In a survey conducted by our reporter at different health centers within the district, findings indicate that some positive strides in the fight of malaria scourge have been registered.

At Nyabirongo Health Center III in Kisinga Town Council, it was discovered that between April and July this year, 6917 people came at the facility complaining of malaria. But after being tested, only 3426 were positive.

The rest of the people who thought were suffering from malaria instead they were suffering from Respiratory Track Infections RTS and other bacterial infections.

Through organizing outreaches, the Health In-charge at Nyabirongo Health Center III, Robert Kalende lead the team and conduct door to door meetings to educate family members on how to properly lay the mosquito on the bed.

Information obtained from the Records Department at the facility showed that cases of malaria have drastically reduced following the intervention by the health workers and government’s mass distribution of treated mosquito nets to every household.

This reporter also discovered that the facility has already received 10 bales of mosquito nets from the Ministry of Health so that expected mothers who come for their first day of antenatal are given a net.

However, although health workers have arranged for outreaches to sensitize the population how to sleep under the mosquito nets, other household bosses have adamantly refused to use them.

This is common especially during the planting seasons. Most families cut sizable logs and enclose mosquito nets to stop poultry birds from escaping into peoples’ gardens because they are believed to destroying crops like beans when they are at the flowering stage.

Other family members, instead of using mosquito nets for their intended purposes, they use them cut lay fish in some fish ponds.

The same dubious acts of misusing mosquito nets are not only seen in the above mentioned areas but also in the neighboring Mahango Sub County.

In an interview with a local resident in Matere village in Mahango sub county who preferred anonymity confirmed to this reporter that whenever government supplies mosquito nets, the locals are seen selling each mosquito net at shillings five thousand.

He also said that the population in the area still has a lot of misconception about the arsenal that was recommended by World Health Organization to guard the spread of malaria.

This reporter learnt that mosquito nets are also used to squeeze banana juice which is later fermented to distil local liquor known by many people in Kasese as waragi.

Also, importantly to note is the current growing of vanilla across the district. Many families in Kasese district are engaged in vanilla production. So in order to safeguard the cash crop from being stolen by thives, family heads especially men sleep outside or hire strong men to sleep in the garden during night hours to guard their vanilla beans and nodes from being taken prematurely.

So, those guarding with rudimentary spears and machetes either sleep in temporary makeshifts or just outside within the garden without a mosquito net.

Hebert Mumbere, the Nyabirongo Health Center’s Health Information Assistant says that vanilla production and rainy seasons account for the increasing cases of malaria in their catchment areas.

According to Mumbere, the facility that was established in the 1950s serve the targeted 20,700 people in their ten catchment parishes in Kisinga Tow Council and Kisinga sub counties partly because they totally offer free services.

The facility also receives people from the neighborhood sub counties of Munkunyu, Kinyamaseke and Kyondo have also sought medical services at the facility.

Mumbere explained that although the facility is receiving such number of sick people, he is certain that they will manage the cases since government has always delivered anti-malaria drugs.

Information obtained from Mumbere’s office indicates that averagely every month, the facility receives 3000 on Out-patient Department-OPD.

At Kiraro Health Center II in Kitholhu Sub County in Bukonzo West Health Sub district, the Health In-charge, Mr. Moris Mumbere reported that cases of malaria have drastically reduced.

He however, attributes the reduction of malaria to the proper usage mosquito nets.

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