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Health Officials give differing data on malaria infections in Mandera hospital

Mandera County has begun a two-week massive indoor residual spraying exercise on mosquitoes to curb spread of malaria and dengue fever both of which are caused by plasmodium.


Habiba Cali, the County Press Director and head of county government’s projects publicizing unit said the programme that is targeting 29,000 households in Mandera and its environs will also cover government institutions, schools and hospitals among other areas.


She added this will be the first phase of a continuous process that will be up-scaled to the other six sub counties.


“We wish to extend this exercise in the near future to the rest of the county to completely reduce the killer diseases in our region,” Habiba said as she read a county action plan report on the two diseases.


According to the county department of health, over 800 people in Mandera have been diagnosed with malaria and dengue fever.


“Malaria cases are rising at an alarming rate as we diagnosed over 800 patients in the past two months. In this regard, we will take a timely intervention to curb it from spreading,” said Mohamud Aden, the county health CEC.


The official said many of those infected by the two diseases have sought medication at Mandera county hospital, adding that those diagnosed in private hospitals tested negative but after visiting the county hospital the results were positive.


On the contrary, the head of the county medical laboratory, Mr Abukar Khalif, said only 300 cases of malaria tested positive during a campaign launched in December 2018.


He added over a hundred were tested and diagnosed with the disease at Mandera county hospital and that the cases are rampant in the other sub counties.


“300 malaria slides detected positive results in every month since October and for those who were tested at county health facilities,” he said.


He cited movement of malaria infected persons within the county and ignorance on residents as leading causes of the spread of both malaria and dengue fever.


Malaria is a life threatening disease caused by plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through an infected female anopheles mosquito.


Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria. In 2015, there were an estimated 212 million malaria cases and some 429 000 malaria deaths. Young children, pregnant women and non-immune travelers from malaria-free areas are particularly susceptible to the disease when infected and often succumb to it if not treated.


By Dickson Githaiga


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