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Kenya, Cuba eradicating mosquitoes in the lake region

Kenya and Cuba, have launched a joint effort aimed at eradicating malaria causing mosquitoes in a bid to reduce high incidents of the disease within the Lake Victoria region.

Siaya county commissioner Jim Njoka, in a speech read on his behalf by Bondo deputy county commissioner Richard Karani, during this year’s World Malaria day celebrations, said that the programme will target destruction of mosquito larvae within the breeding areas.

Njoka said, the programme is set to be launched in the County next month, and urged Siaya residents to support the initiative so as to reduce malaria prevalence in the County that stands at 29% against the national average of six percent.

Addressing the occasion which was held at Rarieda secondary school grounds, the county executive committee member for health Mr. Dismas

Wakla lamented over the high prevalence, adding that out of every 1,000 people in the county, 508 are malaria positive.

Wakla said that the prevalence rates were high in Alego / Usonga, Rarieda and Gem constituencies and hailed the national government for several initiatives; among them the distribution of long lasting insecticide treated mosquito nets that have helped to reduce the prevalence.

“It is however discouraging that some people opt to put the nets into other uses such as fencing their kitchen gardens and using them for fishing Omena,” lamented the county executive.

Wakla called on the government to consider adopting the indoor residual spray method to combat the spread of malaria, adding that a recent pilot of the same in Homa Bay County had yielded positive results.

The head of Malaria control in the county, Eunice Akinyi said Siaya was amongst Malaria endemic areas in the Lake Victoria region that was administering malaria vaccine to children.

“We are doing this in Rarieda, Gem and Ugenya sub counties,” she said, adding that the vaccination exercise has seen an increased coverage from about 6,500 children in 2019 to more than 11,000 children in 2021.

By Philip Onyango

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