The Department of Health Homa Bay County has launched a 24-days Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) exercise in a project aimed at cutting down malaria transmission, whose prevalence rate currently stands at 3.6 per cent.
The exercise which will be undertaken by trained operators will see about 800, 000 households covered and well protected from malaria transmission.
This is the sixth phase of the exercise and targets homes, stagnant water points, compounds among others.
The County Executive Committee (CEC) member for Health Roseline Omollo said the insecticide will be effective for about six to nine months.
“This period is critical because it is actually the time when malaria prevalence soars,” she said.
The CEC noted that the IRS will be undertaken during the morning hours and urged residents to cooperate by allowing the operators inside their homes.
The Programme Officer at the Division of National Malaria Programme (DONMP) Paul Kiptoo Kimayo said the government had put measures in place to combat malaria infections through mobilization of resources channeled towards eliminating vector malaria.
“The government also set up the Division of National Malaria Programme that coordinates efforts geared towards reducing malaria burden,” he noted.
He said that apart from the IRS project, they are also distributing treated mosquito nets targeting children below the age of five and expectant mothers.
“We are implementing this high impact intervention to reduce malaria burden and so far we have seen a reduction from 17 per cent prevalence to 3.6 per cent prevalence rate,” Kiptoo said.
The fight against malaria in Kenya is funded by the United States Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) through USAID’s impact malaria project.
Through the project, a total of 1200 operators were trained to conduct the activity with the help of Community Health Volunteers (CHVs).
On his part, the Deputy Mission Director, USAID/KEA (Kenya and East Africa) Bert Ubamadu stated that Homa Bay has recorded the lowest prevalence of malaria in the lake region, adding that the 3.6 per cent is even lower than the national average which is at six per cent.
By Sitna Omar and Brian Odhiambo